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Abuja High Court Stops Retrial Of Orji Uzor Kalu |The Republican News

Chief Orji Uzor Kalu

From Godwin Tsa Abuja

The Abuja division of the Federal High Court on Monday gave a former Abia State Governor and Senate Chief Whip, Dr.Orji Kalu the permission to challenge his retrial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on alleged money laundering charges.

Consequently, Justice Inyang Ekwo has ordered that the planned re-arraignment of the politician in the alleged N7.1billion money laundering charges be put on hold until the resolution of the legal questions raised against his retrial.

In a motion exparte which was moved an argued by his counsel, Prof. Awa Kalu (SAN), Senator Kalu asked for an order of Court  prohibiting the EFCC from retrying him on  same alleged money laundering charges against him.

He contented that having been tried, convicted and sentenced with the same charges FHC/ABJ/CR/56/ 2007,  by the court by Justice M.B. Idris, it will amount to double jeopardy if it is subjected to a fresh trial on same charge.

Justice Ekwo in his ruling, granted leave to Kalu to seek an order prohibiting the Federal Republic of Nigeria, through the EFCC (her agent), her officers, servants, others, agents, privies and any other person or bodies driving authority from the Federal Republic of Nigeria, from retrying him on charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/56/2007 between FRN vs Orji Kalu & 2 ors or any other charge based on the same facts de novo, there being no extant judgment and ruling of a competent court in Nigeria mandating same.

An order prohibiting the Federal Republic of Nigeria, through the EFCC (her agent), her officers, servants, others, agents, privies and any other person or bodies driving authority from the Federal Republic of Nigeria, from retrying, harrassing and intimidating him with respect to the charge as concerns charge No: FHC/ABJ/CR/56/2007 between FRN vs Orji Kalu & 2 ors or any other charge based on same facts as he need not suffer double jeopardy.

The court further ordered that the leave should operate as a stay of proceedings until the determination of the application.

Justice Ekwo in his ruling held that the applicant who is fully clothed with the locus standi has placed sufficient materials in his supporting affidavits to warrant the court to exercise it’s discretion in his favour.

“Leave is at the discretion of the court under order 34(2) of the Federal High Court. In granting leave, there must be sufficient material fact placed before the court by the applicant to enable it exercise it’s discretion judicially and judiciously.

“The averrements in the affidavit in support of the motion are about the applicant who has demonstrated sufficient interest to cloth him with a locus standi to bring the action.

“By section 34 (9) of the constitution, no person who shows that he has been tried by any court of competent jurisdiction or tribunal for a criminal and either convicted or acquitted shall again be tried for that offence having the same ingredients as that offence serve upon the order of a competent court.”

Meantime, the court gave Kalu seven days  to file and serve his process to the EFCC and adjourned the case to February 23 for mention

In his supporting affidavit deposed in support of his motion, Senator Kalu chronicled the historical background of the trial from his first arrangement and re-arraignment in 2016 and 2017, before the Abuja division of the Federal High Court after the initial charges were amended by the EFCC.

He further narrated how his application to quash the charges was not granted by both the trial court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

Kalu told the court that following an application by the EFCC, to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, the charge was transferred to the Lagos division of the court and was assigned to Justice M.B. Idris (now a Justice of the Court of Appeal).

That upon the transfer of the charge to Lagos, he bore the cost of movement of his entire legal team from Abuja to Lagos including the cost of accommodation up till judgment.

Senator Kalu disclosed that at the trial, the prosecution called a total of 19 witnesses and thereafter, closed it’s case, necessitating him together with other defendants to enter individually and respectively a no case submission.

He stated how midway through the trial, Justice Idris was elevated to the Court of Appeal as a Justice of the Court and subsequently took the oath of office and subscribed to the oath of Allegiance on June 22, 2018 and lost his position as a Judge of the Federal High Court.

The applicant also narrated how by a Fiat dated July 2, 2018, issued under the hand of the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Idris was directed to return to the Federal High Court to conclude the trial, then part-heard in charge no: FHC/ABJ/CR/56/2007, between FRN vs Orji Kalu and 2 ors.

That in his judgment on December 5, 2019,  Justice Idris convicted and sentenced him with respect to the extant charge.

That following his conviction and sentence, he was incarcerated at the Kuje Correctional Centre where he served part of his term having first spent a few days in the Ikoyi Correctional Centre.

That on May 8, 2020, the Supreme Court in judgment in appeal No: SC.62C/2019, Udeh Jones Udeogu vs FRN & 2 ors, held that the trial of the appellant at the trial court was conducted without jurisdiction and thereby ordered the retrial of the appellant (Udeh Jones Udeogu) without reference to him.

He argued that there is no extant ruling or judgment of a competent court in Nigeria ordering his trial having regard to the fact that the Supreme Court excluded him from the explicit order for retrial arising from charge No: FHC/ABJ/56/2007.

That the unassailable position of the law is that no person who shows that he has been tried by any court of competent jurisdiction or tribunal for a criminal and either convicted or acquitted shall again be tried for that offence having the same ingredients as that offence serve upon the order of a competent court.

That his trial having been pronounced a nulity by the Supreme Court in it’s judgment of May 8, 2020 and without more cannot entitle the EFCC to institute the same charge against him.

After listening to Awa Kalu (SAN), Justice Kwo reserved ring till Monday, February 8, 2021.

While Prof. Awa Kalu (SAN) led the defence  team of Senator Kalu, Chief Solomon Akuma (SAN) and  K.C. Nwafor appeared for Udeh Jones Udeogu and Slok Nigeria Ltd respectively.

Meanwhile, the EFCC is seeking the transfer of the trial from Abuja to the Lagos division of the court.

When the case was called up, the prosecution counsel, Mr. Chile Okoroma informed the Judge of a letter by his client, seeking the transfer of the case to the Lagos division of the court.

He said that the request is predicated on previous decision of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal which held that “no element of defense in the charge took place in Abuja”.

Okoroma accordingly urged the court to adjourned the matter indefinitely (sine dine) pending the decision of the Chief Judge.

However, trial judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo declined adjourning indefinitely and fixed June 7 for report on the decision of the Chief Judge.

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Orji Uzor Kalu Is Nigeria’s Next President — Joshua |The Republican News

Prophet Joshua Arogun, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu

By Chief Samuel Egba Isek

General Overseer of Light of the World International Church, Prophet Joshua Arogun has urged the Chief Whip of the Senate , Senator Orji Uzor Kalu to recognize other men of God who were instrumental to his spiritual life.

The popular cleric said the Founder and President of LoveWorld Incorporated, also known as Christ Embassy, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome was not the only man of God that revealed to Kalu what happened to him in December 2019, adding that Kalu would be inviting the wrath of God if he ignores others.

Prophet Joshua made the statements on Christmas day in Lagos during the church’s ministration service to mark the birth of Jesus. He accused Kalu of selective appreciation and warned him of the impending dangers of such actions.

He recalled that aside himself (Prophet Joshua ) other men of God like Pastor Enoch Adeboye of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Bishop David Oyedepo of Winners’ Chapel, Pastor David Ibiyeomie of Salvation Ministries; Pastor Emmanuel Omale of Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministry; Bishop Lazarus Mouka of the Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Renewal; Bishop Mike Okonkwo of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission; Prophet Dr David Kingleo Elijah of Glorious Mount of Possibility Church were given similar messages about Kalu’s travails and upliftment .

Speaking to the congregation, he said, “It was on this alter that we were praying and the message on Orji Uzor Kalu came and I told you people (congregation) about it. What I said was that he would not only come out after six months in jail but will become the next President of Nigeria after President Muhammadu Buhari. I dont know how it would happen, infact I have never met him but that is the revelation I got and my duty is to say it as revealed. But I am not happy with the man because after God saved him and got him released from prison, he seems to have recognized only Pastor Chris Oyakhilome which is not fair. I expect him to recognize all other men of God the same way he recognized Christ Embassy. It is good he stood on the altar and gave his testimony, that shows he has fear of God and he is thankful to God. But he should extend the thankgiving to other churches. Otherwise the wrath of God will visit him .

Prophet Joshua also said if Kalu should humble himself before God, he will encounter upliftments that is beyond his expectations.

“Even if afflictions tries to rise again, he should not despair because he will definitely come out victorious. His destiny is to be Nigeria President and every other thing happening is to catapult him to that position.” He said

This Newspaper recalls that the former Abia Governor visited Christ Embassy Church on December 13, 2020 for the church’s Thanksgiving service held at the headquarters in Lagos. He said Pastor Oyakhilome told him he would go to prison and be freed after six months

Testifying from the pulpit, Kalu said Pastor Chris Oyakhilome told him in October 2019 that no amount of intervention from world leaders would prevent him from going to prison

In his words, ” I was traveling to Abuja and Pastor asked me to drop by for a dinner . We have been friends for more than 28 years and we are very close. When I was about leaving, we prayed together and he told me what I didnt know how to digest. He said I should prepare myself because I was going to be in prison for six months. He told me it is something I cannot stop and no amount of intervention from world leaders can stop it.

“He said the expected day of the High Court judgement will be postponed and it all happened as he said . He told me I should come closer to God because what He has in stock for me after the prison experience is great. He made me understand it’s a phase God really want me to pass through. Today, I am very grateful for that experience. Then, I wished the cup could pass by but today I am glad and extremely happy very to God for everything.

“That was not the first time Pastor has given me Prophesies and I have always disagreed with him because I don’t believe in prophecies . In 2011, he told me I should not contest for Senate election because my mandate would be stolen and won’t be recovered. I disobeyed him and it went as he said . In 2014, he also told me Muhammadu Buhari would win the 2015 election and it happened. There are several cases he gave me prophesies and even though I disagreed with him , it all came to pass . So I am here to thank God and to thank Pastor for being the instrument God uses to speak to me .

“If you can remember I wore black for the Court’s judgment that fateful day and I was not worried because I was prepared both in body and in spirit . God’swill will always prevail and I give all the Glory to Him ” He also said.

Also recall that Senator Kalu who was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment in December 2019 on corruption charges was released from Kuje Correctional Centre, Abuja in June 2020 after the Federal High Court in Lagos presided by Justice Muhammed Liman ordered his release, in line with the Supreme Court judgment nullifying his trial and conviction.

The Supreme Court had, in May, ruled that the trial and judgment delivered by Justice Mohammed Idris against Kalu and two others were null and void since the trial judge had no juridiction, having been elevated to the Court of Appeal.

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EFCC Invades Orji Uzo Kalu’s Sun Newspaper Premises, Marks Properties For Seizure In Effort To WindUp Slok Group

Slok House

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Saturday began marking for seizure properties belonging to the former governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu.

According to a statement issued by the agency’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, the action came following an order by a Lagos Division of the Federal High Court to wound up assets belonging to Mr Kalu’s company, Slok Nigeria Ltd.

Last week, Mr Kalu, a senator representing Abia North, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for a N7.65 billion fraud.

Read EFCC statement below

EFCC Press Release
N7.65bn Fraud: EFCC Marks Ex-Abia Gov, Orji Kalu’s Properties

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Saturday, December 14, 2019, marked properties belonging to a former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu.

The marking is to ensure that the properties are not dissipated, following the December 5, 2019 order of Justice Muhammed Idris sitting at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos that Kalu’s company, Slok Nigeria Limited, be wound up and all assets forfeited to the Federal Government.

Kalu, who is the Senator representing Abia North in the National Assembly, had been arraigned alongside his company, Slok Nigeria Limited and Udeh Udeogu, his Director of Finance and Accounts at the Abia State Government House, over an amended 39-count charge bordering on conspiring and diverting the sum of N7.65bn from the coffers of the state.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them by the EFCC, thereby leading to their full trial.

In the course of the trial, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, called 19 witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence by the court.

The defendants, however, testified on behalf of themselves during the trial.
The parties, during the proceedings on Tuesday, October 22, 2019, adopted their final written addresses.

In his final submission, the prosecution counsel, Jacobs, urged the judge to jail the defendants, saying the prosecution had proved the allegations against them.

Jacobs also urged the court to wind up the company as provided by the Law and all its assets forfeited to the Federal Government.

However, the defence counsel urged the court to “dismiss the charges, acquit and discharge” their clients.
Delivering his judgment, Justice Idris found the defendants guilty on all counts.

Justice Idris held that the prosecution had established its case against the defendants.

The second defendant was convicted and sentenced to three years imprisonment on counts 24, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32 and 10 years on counts 34, 37, 38 and 39.

The Judge further held that “the case was conclusively investigated, as the prosecution conducted thorough investigations.”
Justice Idris, therefore, convicted and sentenced the first defendant, Kalu to five years imprisonment on counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11; three years on counts 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33; 12 years on counts 34, 35, 36, 37 and 38 and five years on count 39.

Justice Idris further held that “In respect of the third convict, Slok Nigeria Limited, an order is hereby made that the company shall hereupon and without further assurances, but for this order, be wound up and all its assets and properties forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

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BREAKING NEWS: Orji Uzor Kalu Sentenced To 12-years Jail Term Over N7.3bn Fraud |The Republican News

By Joseph Onyekwere

The federal high court in Lagos has sentenced the former governor of Abia Stae Senator Orji Uzor Kalu to 12 years imprisonment after being found guilty on all the 39-count charges brought against him.

He was convicted of N7.65billion fraud perpetuated when he was Abia State governor between 1999 and 2007.

Kalu was convicted alongside his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited and his former Abia State director of finance, Ude Udeogu.

The court also ordered forfeiture of all assets of his company to the federal government.

Justice Mohammed Idris, who delivered the sentence, had earlier declared him guilty of the charge in the case that had been on for 12 years.

In an amended 39-counts-charge, they were accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of conspiring and diverting over N7 billion from the coffers of the state.

In one of the counts, the EFCC alleged that Kalu “did procure Slok Nigeria Limited – a company solely owned by you and members of your family – to retain in its account, domiciled with the then Inland Bank Plc, Apapa branch, Lagos, an aggregate sum of N7,197,871,208.7 on your behalf.”

The prosecution claimed that the N7.1 billion “formed part of the funds illegally derived from the treasury of the Abia State Government and which was converted into several bank drafts before they were paid into the said company’s account.”

The prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, said the ex-governor violated Section 17(c) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004, and was liable to be punished under Section 16 of the same Act.

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Refusal To Attend Igbo Event In Spain Not Because Of Fear Of IPOB – Orji Uzor Kalu |The Republican News

Orji Uzor Kalu

Sunday Aborisade,  Abuja

The Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu, has said that his refusal to attend an Igbo event in Spain was not to avoid assault from members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, who may be residing in the country.

Kalu, a two-term governor of Abia State,  gave the explanation in a statement issued on Monday by his media office.

He described reports in some social media platforms that he suspended a medical trip to Germany following attacks on Senator Ike Ekweremadu, as totally untrue.

He said the report was untrue.

Ekweremadu was physically assaulted in Germany, on Saturday, by members of the IPOB.

The former Deputy Senate President was invited as a guest speaker at the 2nd Annual Igbo Cultural Festival in Nuremberg, Germany, when the assault took place.

Kalu explained that he has been in his country home, Igbere, interacting with members of his constituency since the National Assembly went on recess.

The Senator said he had held several meetings with the people of Abia North at his Camp Neya residence in Igbere.

The statement read in part, “I have been in my country home interacting with people from my constituency and settling disputes.

“The news that I suspended by planned medical check-up in Germany was not true.

“I was invited by an Igbo group in Spain to attend their function, I could not go because of the interaction with my constituents.”

He described the action of the IPOB members against Ekweremadu as uncivilised, unacceptable and barbaric.

He said the assault on the Senator was a slap on Igbo leaders regardless of party affiliation, describing Ekweremadu as a prominent Nigerian who deserves to be respected.

Kalu, therefore, urged the Igbo to respect their leaders at all levels and embrace peace, saying only then will the South-East region be prosperous and peaceful. (Punch)

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I’ll Vote For RUGA If, When It Comes To Senate, Ohanaeze, Igbo Have To Carry Their Own Cross – Orji Uzor Kalu

Former Abia state governor, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu

by Ike A. Offor

The new senator representing Aba North senatorial district and the former governor of Abia state and a very successful businessman, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has caused some uproar in the South via his utterances in suport of the RUGA. He openly has said that he will support RUGA is the bill comes to the red chamber.

He further claimed that he has fought for the Igbo and lost businesses and now being witch-hunted by EFCC due to his stand against president Obasanjo of which EFCC was set after him. One wonders why he is still being pursued if the charges against him were made-up by Obasanjo under his government?

So, it is like since he has lost businesses supporting his people, he is now going to go against his people in order to regain what he lost.

Addressing pressmen, he had these to say:

“I know what I have lost to politics, defending Igbo and fighting to see Igbo take what belongs to them. This cost me my bank, airline, oil blocks and many other businesses. I lost friends in politics, business and my social friends both at home and abroad. Do you think I would have quarrelled with Obasanjo if not for the Igbo? Do you think that I would have left PDP? Do you think I will have been on the EFCC list?

“Returning to a ruling party is one dream I have longed to realise. I’ve not just come back, I am a senator. I don’t think I will make the mistakes I did when I was a governor. Ohanaeze and co can do Igbo as they like, I don’t give a damn. Everyone must carry his cross.

“I am not afraid to speak the truth; I’m trained by an Hausa Fulani, I brought RUGA to the south east. I built a mosque for the Moslems when I was governor. I have business scattered in the northern part of the country. We are one Nigeria. We must support Buhari to implement RUGA across the country.

“Anytime a vote is called for any bill to be passed in favour of RUGA, I, Orji Uzor Kalu will vote in support.”

Judging from his statements he is in it for the political and financial protection and gains for him. To him, it is about this career and money and the Igbo can carry their own cross while he carries his.

What a very selfish politician who now sees himself as a man separate from his people, who he not only claim to serve as a senator, but he now sees it that they have their own cross to carry, which is a lot different from his own cross, which he has to carry without them. One wonders what he comprehends as his duty to his constituents under his senatorial district?

Nigerians must be very careful who they vote into offices to serve and represent them. If not anything else he has proven that his people made a big mistake voting for him or rigging him in.

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No President Would Want To See His Citizens Dying, Kalu Slams Buhari Accusers

 

Orji-kalu4

CEO Slok Group,  Orji Uzor Kalu

The former Governor of Abia State Orji Uzo Kalu has berated those accusing President Muhammadu Buhari of not doing enough to stop the killings in some parts of the country, saying no president would want to see his people dying, NAN reports.

“It is embarrassing when some people accuse the president of supporting one group to kill another. It is not possible for anyone directly elected by the people.

”Leaders should stop backbiting about the killings and all the rest of it. Killing is not a good process, no president would want to see his people dying.

”President Buhari has taken a new step, he was in Benue and Plateau the other time he is committed to making sure that this killing stop,” he said.

Kalu condemned the unwarranted killings when he spoke at a party in honour of the outgoing Czech Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Pavel Mikes, in Abuja.

The All Progressive Congress (APC) Chieftain described the killings as a big challenge for the country after the Federal Government defeated the Boko Haram.

”It is embarrassing to see human beings killing their fellow human beings. It is not acceptable by anyone created by God,” he said.

He told the Czech Ambassador that his friendship with Nigeria goes beyond his stay in the country. ”We will remain friends after your departure.”

He also thanked the envoy for his efforts, as Dean of European diplomatic corps, in ensuring that all levels of government in Nigeria maintain rule of law.

”When government fails to put rule of law as an instrument that can be of a great change, is a problem because rule of law is more important.

”It is a software of a democratic process. Once you have the software right, the hardware will also be right,” he said.

Kalu expressed appreciation to the European Union for ensuring that Nigeria’s democracy stands.

In his remarks, the outgoing Czech Ambassador described Nigeria as a ”great, complex county” and that he enjoyed every moment of his five-year duty tour in Nigeria.

Mikes extolled the virtues of the former Abia Governor, saying, ”he is passionate about the future of Nigeria, working hard to promote the country in the world.

”He is a man for whom Nigeria lies dearly in his heart and does everything possible to improve the lives of Nigerians”.

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Address Injustice Suffered By South East During Civil War, Kalu Tells Buhari

Orji-Uzor-Kalu

The former governor of Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu

Louis Ibah

The former governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to address the injustices and human right abuses suffered by the people of the South East of Nigeria during the Nigerian-Biafra civil war of 1967-1970, by the declaring the sub-region a ‘special area’.

Kalu, who spoke in an interview with aviation reporters at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, shortly after arriving Nigeria from the United States of America (USA), also commended President Buhari for addressing the injustices associated with the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election, by posthumously acknowledging the election as free and fair, as well as declaring Chief MKO Abiola as the legitimate winner of that election.

Kalu said the recognition of the June 12 elections as legitimate and MKO Abiola as the winner has portrayed Buhari as a true democrat considering that his two predecessors (presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan) had failed to validate that election during their reigns.

The former governor, however, said President Buhari should extend the same gesture to the Chairman of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Prof. Humphrey Nwosu, who superintended over the June 12, 1993 elections. He also sought Buhari’s extension of his reconciliation gesture to the people of the South East where millions of lives were lost and property destroyed during the civil war to assuage the feelings of hurt among the people of the region. Kalu said: “President Buhari has started a good thing by honouring Chief MKO Abiola and declaring June 12 as Democracy Day. Now that he is working, he should also remember Prof. Humfrey Nwosu, the man who conducted the freest and fairest election in Nigeria. Nwosu should also be honoured.

“And I want President Buhari to go a step further and declare the South East a special area, where people in the region were given ill-treatment during the war. People lost lives, they lost property, and they were given just 20 pounds.

“He has already made a good step by paying the Biafran police their entitlements. But, the region should be considered a special area by the government because, if that is added to what Buhari has done, in terms of those who lost their lives during the struggle for the actualisation of June 12 mandate, God will start forgiving Nigeria,” Kalu added.

Kalu also lauded Buhari for giving financial autonomy to the state judiciary and houses of assembly but urged that same autonomy be extended to the federal judiciary, noting that the independence of the judiciary is most fundamental to the sustenance of Nigeria’s democracy. (The Sun)

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Buhari Came To Power At Difficult Time, Says Orji Kalu |The Republican News

Orji-Uzor-Kalu1

Former Governor of Abia state, CEO SLOK Group, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu

•Says Nigeria will exit recession in 2019

Sunday Ani

Former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu has said that President Muhammadu Buhari came to power at a time there was recession all over the world, adding that the situation was made worse by the fact that the president equally met an empty treasury.
Kalu, who spoke on AIT monitored programme said the President was putting every necessary stimulus into the economy to ensure that the country exits recession by 2019. He disagreed with those who said that the country was already out of recession, saying, “When I see people who said they are economists saying we are out of recession, I say they don’t understand what they are talking about because we are not out of recession. Government already has a roadmap to be out of recession and I can assure you that this government is determined to see it happen. But, you can’t just tell people that we are out of recession; you can’t do that because the indices are there. What the president and the government are doing is to continue to pump in stimulus, which is what the economy needs to come out of recession. And I can see us moving out of recession in 2019.”
The former governor also said that the president is under pressure from the international intelligence communities not to say more of what he had seen about looting in Nigeria. “The president is restraining himself because if he opens his mouth to say what happened in NNPC or central bank, Nigerians will not feel good about governance,” he said.
Kalu equally said that the problem in Libya, which led to upsurge of emigrants into Nigeria and the president’s health challenges, caused a lot of havoc on his plan for the country. He said: “And secondly, with the world recession, you also had problem of people migrating into the country from Libya because of the problem there, and some of them came in with a lot of arms. You also see that the president became sick and the medical attention also caused a lot of havoc on his plan. I am not speaking for him because I am not his spokesman but as a party man, I believe he has done well in some areas.”
He noted that the president has not done very well in terms of economy, but added that “he is grappling with it. There is a lot of stimulus going into the economy.”
On why he ventured into politics, having achieved so much before the age of 29, he said he went into politics to help communities and serve the people. “That is why when people talk, I laugh at them because by the time I was going into politics, I have worked anywhere I liked. I was a member of First Bank, Hallmark BanK and Oando boards. I was also chairman of two banks and I was solidly a cocoa trader, a rice trader and a successful industrialist. I have one of the largest furniture factory in Maiduguri and the Happy Home furniture in Kirikiri, Lagos,” he said.
As the governor of Abia State, he said his major achievement was giving education to the people of Abia and its environs. “I was able to give education to our people; they had no education and I am very proud to say that. The kids get excited when they see me on the road today,” he said.
He also narrated an incident where a young lady openly accepted that what she got in Abia State under his administration was real free education. He also stated that Abia State under his administration had started with free education up to the secondary school level even before former President Olusegun Obasanjo introduced the Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme.
“People were paying N7000 in Abia State university because I was paying N93,000 for 35 students. We wrote cheques every month to give back to the university. They pay N7000 and we made it up to N100,000 by paying N93,000. Even before Obasanjo came up with the UBE programme in primary and secondary schools, we had full free education for secondary schools in Abia State. People from other states enjoyed it. The greatest investment we made was in education. We also built a lot of roads but those roads have collapsed today,” he stated.
When asked the rationale behind his eating akara on the road side with common people, Kalu said: “It is not about common people; it is to practice what I started with. It is only fools who think that they have arrived and that they cannot go back.”
He said that during the last Christmas festivities, he visited many houses to dine and wine with them in his Igbere community. “In a day we visited almost 50 houses. That is how I started and I can’t stop. Even if you make me president tomorrow, I will still do the same thing because that is the right thing to do.”
He argued that when the rich interact with the poor and give back to society, there would be peace. He also said that there is zero percent robbery and violent crimes in Igbere because as a community, the rich have decided to associate and socialize with the poor and give back to the community.
“In Igbere, there are good people who are sociable and religious. We are trying to portray our community for what it is. There are so many people who do community service; they give back to community. We agreed as a community that we must be giving back to the people. Our last cultural festival was superb. We don’t do medicine in my community. In Igbere, there is no native doctor because we don’t believe in it. We believe in God,” he submitted.   (The Sun)

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Obasanjo Has No Moral Right To Critcise Buhari, Says Orji Kalu|The Republican News

Orji-Uzor-Kalu1

Chief Orji Uzor Kalu

Louis Ibah

A former Governor of Abia and business mogul, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, on Thursday, faulted former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s letter to president Muhammadu Buhari criticising his alleged poor handling of security and the economy and urging him not to contest the 2019 presidential election.

Kalu said that the former president lacked the moral right to comment on such national issues. Dr. Kalu is a national chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The business mogul also said it would be unfair to the South East , South South and South Westerns part of Nigeria not to support the second term presidential bid of President Buhari, given the benefit it holds in ensuring the return of power to the southern part of the country in 2023.

Speaking in an interview at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two ( MMA2), in Lagos, Kalu called on President Buhari to speak up on the challenges of insecurity affecting the country, especially as it affects the attack of some section of the country by Fulani herdsmen.

He said as much as he does not agree with the issues raised in Obasanjo’s letter, he would, however, consult first with the intelligence and international community before issuing an official response  to the Obasanjo’s letter.

Kalu , however, said the challenge of herdsmen/ farmers clash was  lingering in some states because their governors lacked capacity to handle the situation.

He said although the President Buhari’s government might be slow in taking critical socio-economic and political  decisions, it has nonetheless  done well in stemming the high rate of  corruption that was prevalent under the  16 years that PDP ruled Nigeria.

He alleged that the PDP plundered the NNPC and CBN at will, insisting that the APC would open the books to show the level of rot it inherited from PDP in 2015.

Kalu said President Buhari has recorded some achievements  in his two and half years tenure, which necessitates calls for his re-election, listing the commencement of work on the Second Niger Bridge as a big project that would benefit the people of the south East and South South regions.

On the Obasanjo letter Kalu said, ” I am not going to talk about former President Obasanjo’s letter because I am going to make some consultations with the United States, Germany, China and the United Kingdom. Then I will come back and speak on that letter.

“I think Obasanjo’s letter is not to the best interest of Nigeria. I don’t want to reply him because I have given you examples time without number.

“There are three express roads Obasanjo refused to build when he was the President of Nigeria. Port Harcourt-Okigwe-Umuahia-Enugu expressway. It is being built now by the Buhari administration.

“Another one is the Enugu-Awka-Onitsha expressway. It is being built now by the Buhari administration. Obasanjo did not build it. Then there is the Onitsha-Owerri-Aba expressway. The Buhari administration is building it now.

“Between Obasanjo and Buhari who should I call my friend in real terms? It is Buhari who is developing our region. With the roads, trailers loaded with manufactured goods in Aba will be able to reach their various destinations from the city. So Buhari is my friend; he is a better President.

“I don’t wish to reply that letter because the former President has no morals that should qualify him to write that letter.

“This is because he is the cause of many of the things that happening in this country today. I will make consultation to the intelligence community of the countries I have mentioned before I will reply Obasanjo’s letter.

“Obasanjo is not a worthy person to write that letter. Under the Obasanjo administration, $16 billion was spent on power plant but that money was wasted. Where we are now at the privately-owned domestic airport” You can hear the sound of generator. The electricity in the facility is being powered by generator. Where is the $16 billion spent on electricity?

“It is just that governments are not serious. If the different tiers of governments are serious they would address where the $16 billion meant for provision of power has gone. This should be addressed because people cannot be masquerading to be innocent when they are the biggest thief. You come to government with N20,000 and you become a multi-billionaire.

“You own banks, you own industries and you carry our money and give it to people to be doing something and you go around talking like an angel.

“Before June this year I will write my own letter to President Buhari and that letter will be explosive.

On President Buhari’s fight against corruption, Kalu said, “Buhari is fighting corruption. It is those who don’t know Buhari that will be saying that. You know that I supported Buhari in 2003 even when I was a PDP governor. It is in my house that he used to stay at Igbere.

“So I know the man very well; it is just that he is slow. The man needs people like him around him who will whip him up into action every morning to do the things he is supposed to do.

“He is the leader that we need now. Buhari is the man that can put things in order and moreover the four political parties in Igboland will endorse Buhari for President in 2019. All the parties including APC, PDP, APGA and PPA will endorse Buhari for 2019.

“All of us are going to vote for Buhari in 2019 in the South East for Buhari to go for another four years and we are not going to compromise that. So, Obasanjo can be writing his letter but we are going to vote for Buhari.”

On Buhari’s health Kalu said, “You are not his doctor to determine his state of health. You remember in June last year some people confronted me when I said that Buhari would come back healthier. I was abused by even journalists but I stood my ground and said this is what I know about the man’s state of health.

“The man is ready and willing to do his job. In 2019, you will see a new Buhari. He will make things work. He is being careful to avoid the mistakes of the past governments. We are going to energise him.

“I was not in APC before but I am there now and we are going to support him. The second coming of Buhari is going to be in the best interest of the South West, the South South and South East.”

The former Abia governor also spoke on the alleged marginalisation of some sections of the country. According to him, “The cabinet does not do the job. Under Jonathan’s administration the South East was well represented but they did nothing for the zone. So it is better we don’t have such representatives and we have our roads  and other projects done.”

On Buhari’s acceptance in the South East, Kalu said : “Forget about hired crowd. Forget about the crowd politicians hire. My grandmother told me that when you wish to sew cloth you need to pieces first before you sew it. That is what Buhari has done.

“And from this 2018 you will see the economic gains. Mind you there was economic glut globally when he took over. Oil price went very down and some people in government broke the Central Bank.

“If we open up what we know Nigerians will run away and we might open it up very soon because hiding this thing and the advice of the international community to hold it may no longer hold.

“The way these people looted Central Bank; they looted the place without receipt. People carried money without awarding any contract. This is what is affecting you and I.”

On the menace of Fulani’s herdsmen Kalu said,”I don’t support that Fulani herdsmen should be allowed to continue to harass Nigerians. The governors in those states that Fulani herdsmen are killing people are weak. When I was a governor, no Fulani herdsman can come to Abia and border Abia people.

Is your life being protected by another being? So the governors are not doing what they are supposed to do. If the governors put their feet down, nobody will kill anyone in their states.

“Every life is very important; every life is sacred. So, we must be able to respect each other’s life and moreover, we call on the Federal Government to find a way to address that issue.

“The herdsman crisis is not to be the benefit of anybody. President Buhari must stand up and address that issue. And if I have any opportunity I will advise him to put his feet down on that issue because the issue is delicate. Buhari is not a tribalist the way they say.

“But by nature you draw closer to your people. When Jonathan was there he operated with South East, South West and South South people. When Obasanjo was there he also ran with South East, South West and South South people and all the northerners were driven away. When you have power you try to address the issues that make things happen.

“For me, the letter is irrelevant at this time of our life. Nigerians should not celebrate mediocrity. As far as I am concerned, people who did not do well when they had the chance should not be pointing accusing finger at others. One man cannot hold a country to ransom; one man cannot be the only one that is right.

” After all, this man did not build Abeokuta-Lagos expressway. The state of the road is in a mess. I cannot be a President and not build a road that leads to my house. That is indiscipline. So, the man should first wash himself out of his problems before looking at other people’s problem. Many Nigerians accuse this government of too much blame game against the immediate previous administration.”

On his take on the PDP Kalu said, ”  Mind you, if PDP were a company I would hold 90 percent of it. There were only two people who brought real money to fund PDP, myself and Atiku Abubakar.

“This is a statement of fact. But later, others hijacked this party from us. And when you are talking about who is right or wrong, Obasanjo missed a step to make this country great. He was busy pursuing enemies; instead of pursing development. This country could have been better and better when Obsanjo took over. But he missed the opportunity. He was so petty. And Lai Mohammed called Obasanjo a patriotic leader. How can you call Obasanjo a patriotic leader? That means that Lai Mohammed is a liar himself.

“Obasanjo is not a patriotic leader. If I open the Pandora ’s Box of Obasanjo, you will run away and I am going to do it but let me consult intelligence community all over the world.

“For Buhari to run and win in 2019, he needs a coalition of progressives, but they want to establish another party.”

So, do you think you need to reach out to Nigerians and in midst of this there is a call for generational shift. What is your take on APC reaching out to other parties?

“Anybody has the right to join the APC. We don’t have to form alliance with anybody. The party is based on fairness, righteousness and everything and if you want to join the party you join the party. We are not going to beg anybody to join. Those that are registering new party is their business. APC will always be APC.”

On plans by some people to set up a new party, led Oby Ezekwesili , Kalu said, “To me, you cannot use third force to run a democratic process. This means that majority of the people have not understood what democracy is all about. She is my in-law and I have good relationship with her. If she wants to run she should go and register a political party and face us.

“All these grammars you people are speaking is not the issue. If she feels she is popular enough she should register a political party and join us. I want to say that Nigerians will be surprised on the popularity of Buhari and we are going to win.

“People are now realising that they are being deceived. There are a lot of hate speeches in the social media. When I told people that these killer herdsmen came from abroad people insulted me.

“But intelligence has said that is true but when I said it nobody believed me. Nobody can buy me. Buhari does not even have money to buy me. I speak the truth.

Whenever I have the opportunity I tell Buhari my mind. But for the letter written by Obasanjo; I rate him zero, zero, zero.”  (The Sun)

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