The Human & Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) has written the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), seeking an in-depth investigation into the allegations and counter-allegations between the Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Chinedum Orji and former Attorney General/ Commissioner of Justice, Abia State, Umeh Kalu (SAN).
A statement by the chairman of HEDA, Olanrewaju Suraju implored the anti-corruption agency to expedite action on the matter in line with its mandate and prosecute anyone found culpable in such distasteful act of corrupt practices and financial misappropriation which has deprived the citizens of Abia State of enjoying dividends of democracy.
HEDA said it is quite appalling that very few individuals among the ruling class are subjecting the citizens (whose interest they were supposed to protect) to undue hardship by their (govt. officials) reckless attitude towards public resources.
The anti-corruption organization reminded the ICPC chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye (SAN) of allegations levied by Orji against Kalu, which ranges from owning properties like Shoprite in Umuahia, the Abia State capital (while in office) and carting away with more than six official vehicles and converted them to personal use.
“Such strong matter should not be treated with kid gloves. As a non-partisan human rights and development league and in line with our mandate to protect and promote universally recognized human rights, accountability and environmental justice in Nigeria and Africa, in accordance with international standards, we call on the chairman of the ICPC to probe this serious matter in the interest of the citizens.
“In his response to allegations put forward by the Honorable Speaker, Chief Kalu out-rightly denied all the allegations made against him. He (Kalu) went further to make some allegations against Orji. These allegations include addiction to cocaine and hard drugs, solicitation of government’s contract, murder, inflation of contract to refurbish the House of Assembly complex and collected ?33 million for a Toyota Hilux with a competitive asking price of ?18 million.
“In view of all the above weighty allegations coming from these two senior citizens of Abia State with a handful of sensitive government information, we kindly request the Commission to diligently set out on this matter and ensure that anyone found guilty is brought to book accordingly.”