Former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu who was convicted for Fraud and sentenced to 12 years in prison did not just bite the face of the common wealth, he also stepped on the toes of powerful men who may have influenced his latest ordeal.
Recall that on July 11, 2007, Mr Kalu was arrested by EFCC on charges of corruption while serving as the governor of Abia State.
He was later released on bail, and accused the Olusegun Obasanjo regime of persecuting him during and after his tenure in office, an accusation mentioned by former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria John Campbell in his book, “Nigeria: Dancing on the Brink.”
Though he left office in 2007, in October 2016, EFCC renewed its prosecution and preferred 34 count charges against Mr Kalu. After 12 years of standing trial, he was eventually sentenced to 12 years in prison on Thursday. Mr Kalu was found guilty of all the 39-count charge filed against him by the EFCC.
Orji Kalu may have been convicted for stealing from the treasury of the Abia State Government, but the words of Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo about the Senate Chief Whip cannot be swept under the carpet.
“Obasanjo told me that I will kneel down and suffer for the rest of my life. That he will deal with me. That he will crumble me. He told me face-to-face. That is the truth. I don’t care about what he says. He is not my God. I’m still wearing nice suit till tomorrow. I still see him.”, Kalu said in an interview in May 2018.
Kalu and Obasanjo are now sworn enemies after they fell apart sometime between 2003 and 2007. Does Obasanjo have a role to play in the conviction of the former Abia State Governor? That, time will tell.
Meanwhile, Obasanjo is yet to speak on the conviction of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.