How Has The Mighty Fallen! Justice Was Served Cooled And Chilled?

By Ikenga Chronicles December 6, 2019

How Has The Mighty Fallen! Justice Was Served Cooled And Chilled?

–By Favour Amako

‘The Lion has come to judgement! The Lion has come to judgement’ rented the air as I watched with abated breath the former Abia State Governor, Senator Uzor Orji Kalu, being led away by officials of the Nigerian Correctional Service, shortly after he was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment by Justice Mohammad Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday.

I watched as the former Governor entered into the court’s holden cell in tears. How has the mighty fallen! Buhari must have been smiling with his cup of coffee, watching Kalu begging t
the Prison Officials, not to handcuff him. For me, it was justice well deserved. It was served cooled and chilled. From 1999 to 2007 and even beyond, Uzor Orji held the proverbial political yam and knife in Abia State. I remember in 2018, when I had a phone interview with him, he sounded ‘untouchable, unstoppable and more of a saint than a sinner’. He accused me of being sympathetic to former President Goodluck Jonathan, the man he tagged as ‘being corrupt’. During the interview he threw his weight in defence of his then new found lover, President Muhammadu Buhari. That is a matter for another day.

Since the advent of democracy in 1999, Abia State, my maternal home State where I did part of my primary and secondary education has been very unfortunate with leadership at all levels. It is cursed with Governors that leave the State worse than they met it, enriching themselves and turning to tin gods. Dating back to the days of Uzor Orji Kalu, he pillaged and raped the Abia State treasury. We had the mother of the Governor then as the god mother of Abia State. We had tales of politicians seeking appointments going to her mansion in Aba to peel Melon (Egusi) seed to get her blessings. Chief Orji Uzor Kalu ran and left the State in a pariah status.

His adopted son, Chief Theodore Orji, now a current Senator took over the mantle of Leadership in 2007. Ochendo as we all know him became worse than his predecessor. He turned Abia State to his personal estate. It was alleged that he amassed wealth. These former Governors have succeeded in pillaging the State because of established political patronage in which they carefully distribute appointments to the important political personalities in each LGA such that they maintain control and garner loyalty.

Anyway, Uzor Kalu, has finally joined two former Governors, Joshua Dariye (Plateau) and Jolly Nyame (Taraba), as an inmate in a Correctional Centre.

Kalu, who is the Senate Chief Whip of the 9th Assembly, was found guilty by a Federal Hgh Court in Lagos on fraud charges and remanded at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre.

His conviction and sentencing to 12 years in jail came 12 years after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, filed N7.65 billion fraud charge against him. The EFCC had filed the charge in 2007.

Kalu was convicted alongside his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited, and Jones Udeogu, who served under him as the Director of Finance and Account at the Abia State Government House in Umuahia.

Kalu was convicted of the entire 28 counts in which his name featured out of the 39 counts filed against the trio. On each of counts 1-11 and 39, he was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment; on each of counts 23-33, he was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment; and on each of counts 34-38, he was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment.

Justice Idris, however, held that the sentences shall run concurrently, which means that Kalu will spend a maximum of 12 years in jail.

I am not surprise he stole a lot of money. Kalu’s Successor, Theordor Orji should be next. The duo ran Abia State like their personal property. Go to Abia today, it is like almost a failed State with the Orji’s of this world taken turns to suck the Gods Own State dry.

I recall that the ex-governor was interrogated by the EFCC sometimes last year. Orji, who represents Abia-Central Snatorial district at the National Assembly, was invited over allegations that he mismanaged about N27 billion.

Among the allegations levelled against the former Governor was that he diverted billions of naira disbursed to Abia State by the Central Bank of Nigeria for Small and Medium Enterprise.

The Lawmaker was also alleged to have diverted money from the Ecological Fund account, which should have been used in tackling erosion and other disasters peculiar to the State.

The ex-governor allegedly diverted money from the Abia State Oil Producing Development Area Commission, an agency of government set up for the development of the oil producing areas in Abia State

Orji allegedly used the funds to buy properties in Abia, Port Harcourt and Abuja, some of which the EFCC is planning to seize.

Orji, relax, the EFCC is taking its time to dust your file. Kuje Correctional Centre is waiting with wide arms to receive another big fish .

Pass me the puff corn please.