A pressure group, Abia Network Against Corruption (ABNAC), has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to intensify its fight against corruption, urging the commission Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, to prosecute former Governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, for alleged misappropriation of funds.
The group in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Chief Philip Okoro, on Sunday stated that “Kalu allegedly misappropriated over N100 billion between 1999 and 2007, while he was serving as the governor of the state.”
Speaking to journalists at a recent protest at the National Assembly, the leader of the group, Okoro appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to wade into the matter by pressing on Lamorde to accelerate the prosecution of corrupt persons including Kalu, adding that: “Lamorde flouted a Court of Appeal ruling on the former governor of over the commission’s inability to prosecute Kalu.”
Okoro told journalists that the Court of Appeal in Abuja had given the EFCC leave to prosecute Kalu, “but the commission has continued to play hide and seek game over the matter.”
According to Okoro, three justices of the court, Ejembi Eko, Kayode Bada and Regina Nwodo, had in a unanimous ruling dismissed the appeal filed by Kalu against an earlier ruling of the Federal High Court in Abuja over his corruption case.
Okoro urged the commission to arraign the former governor to show seriousness in the fight against graft, and also if the anti-graft commission is not afraid of him on the matter, appealing to President Buhari and the National Assembly to urge the EFCC boss to carry out the prosecution of Kalu in order not to mar the anti-corruption crusade of the present administration.
According to him, “If EFCC is not afraid of Kalu or is serious on the matter, the commission should urgently carry out a ruling of the Court of Appeal that Kalu is liable to prosecution and proceed with the matter in court.