Media trial of Abia Speaker, an elaborate attempt to hoodwink the people — AUF

A leading sociopolitical organisation in Abia State, Abia Unity Forum (AUF), has condemned what it termed the media trial of the Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, and his father, the former Governor of Abia State, Senator T. A. Orji.

In a press statement signed by its president, Prince Paul Enyioma Okpanku, Esq, secretary, Barr. Chimereze P. Onuigbo and publicity secretary, Ambassador (Comrade) Chidiebere Kanu, the Group described the blaze of publicity given to the allegations against them as “elaborate attempt made to hoodwink the gullible into believing what more sober individuals have referred to as media trial without any substance”.

The group noted that “since the allegation of looting of N525bn from Abia State coffers by former Governor of Abia State, Senator T.A. Orji, was published by some media outfits, apparently syndicated to execute a hit, common sense appears to have once more fled from people you will ordinarily expect to know better”.

The group added that the investigation of this petition has been ongoing since 2015 and at all times the accused persons presented themselves to EFCC with documentary and other evidence to prove their innocence. No case has been filed in any court against them by EFCC.

“The original petitioner has since written EFCC to withdraw the petition and apologized to the former Governor for being misled into endorsing the petition,” the group said

The statement added that there is absolutely no former Governor or top politician in Nigeria today without an ongoing EFCC investigation, stressing that how the ongoing investigation of Senator Orji was deliberately isolated and manipulated for syndicated publication is clear evidence of political interference aimed at subjecting the targets to media trial only.

“Most of the listed bank accounts with humongous figures attributed to them are unknown to the accused persons and a court room trial will prove that in due course. The major company belonging to Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji has been in business since 2001. That was long before his father became Governor and unless we are now saying that whoever his father is a potential Governor should not own businesses in Nigeria then there is nothing to worry about.

“No single payment, through draft, transfer or cheque deposit, was ever made to the company account from Abia State Government or its contractors. The published petition did not state any such fund movement.The company also did not execute any government contract while the Speaker’s father was Governor of the state. Otherwise such evidence would have been presented along with the so called published investigation report. Most of the accounts listed as belonging to Engr Chinedum Orji are unknown to him and we make bold to state that the entries are fictious. He does not have such funds anywhere in the world. One of the accounts listed as belonging to Rt Hon Chinedum Orji is actually his salary account opened in 2015 after he was duly elected as Member Representing Umuahia Central State Constituency in the Abia State House of Assembly,” the group noted.

The group concluded that the current toxic propaganda against Senator Orji’s family is being sponsored from Abia State by known individuals who continue to fret over the possibility that Speaker Orji might harbor future governorship ambitions.

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