The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Thursday, arrested a former governor of Abia State, Theodore Orji.
The ex-governor, who had been on the Commission’s watch list for a long time, was intercepted at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, at about 10am, and driven to the headquarters of the EFCC.
He was quizzed alongside his son, Chinedu, who is the current Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly. It was gathered that Chinedu turned himself in on Thursday afternoon upon learning of the arrest of his father. He was immediately detained.
Orji, who is a current senator, and his sons, Chinedu and Ogbonna, have been under EFCC’s investigation for months over alleged misappropriation of public funds and money laundering.
The ex-governor is alleged to have received N500 million monthly as security vote for eight years as governor of Abia State between 2007 and 2015.
He was also alleged to have mismanaged N2 billion Ecological Fund and mismanagement of Sure-P funds.
The EFCC had in February 2020 interrogated Orji and his son over allegations that they diverted N521 billion public funds.
The investigation followed a petition dated March 17, 2017, filed by a group, Fight Corruption: Save Nigeria Group.
The petitioners had accused Mr Orji of diverting ”N383 billion revenue from the Federation Account, N55 billion Excess Crude revenue, N2.3 billion Sure-P revenue, N1.8 billion ecological funds, N10.5 billion loan, N12 billion Paris Club refund, N2 billion agricultural loan, and N55 billion ASOPADEC money while in office.”
According to the petition, the N500 million the former governor allegedly withdrew monthly was “not part of the security funds expended on the Nigerian Police, the Nigerian Army, DSS, Navy anti-Kidnapping Squad, anti-robbery Squad, purchase of Security equipment and vehicles for the security agencies.”
The petitioners also accused Orji’s son, Chinedu, of owning about 100 accounts in different banks.
They alleged that the accounts which run both as corporate and Individual received ”so much deposit in cash without evidence of job or services rendered.”