Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday invited former governor of Abia State, Theodore and his son, Chinedu Orji, over allegations of diversion of N521 billion public funds.
An EFCC source, who confirmed the story, said the ex-governor was intercepted at the Nnamdi International Airport, Abuja at about 10am yesterday and driven to the headquarters of the EFCC in Abuja.
He was however later released on bail alongside his son.
Chinedu Orji, the current speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, turned himself in yesterday afternoon after learning of the arrest of his father.
As at press time, the ex-governor, who is a serving senator, was still being drilled together with his son.
Recall that Orji and his sons, Chinedu and Ogbonna, have for months been under EFCC investigation for alleged misappropriation of public funds and money laundering.
The EFCC had in February 2020 interrogated the ex-governor and his son over allegations that they diverted N521 billion public funds.
The ex-governor is alleged to have received N500 million monthly as security vote for eight years as governor of Abia between 2007 and 2015.
Other allegations against him concerned alleged mismanagement of N2billion Ecological Fund and mismanagement of Sure-P funds.
In 2017, the EFCC had opened an investigation against the ex-governor following a petition dated March 17, 2017, filed by a group, Fight Corruption: Save Nigeria Group.
The petitioners had accused Orji of diverting N383 billion revenue from the Federation Account, N55 billion Excess Crude revenue, N2.3 billion Sure-P revenue, N1.8 billion ecological funds, N10.5 billion loan, N12 billion Paris Club refund, N2 billion agricultural loan, and N55 billion ASOPADEC money while in office.”
According to the petition, the N500 million the former governor allegedly withdrew monthly was “not part of the security funds expended on the Nigerian Police, the Nigerian Army, DSS, Navy anti-Kidnapping Squad, anti-robbery Squad, purchase of Security equipment and vehicles for the security agencies.”
In a terse response to inquiries by LEADERSHIP on his travails, the former governor, in a text message said, “I have always been free and okay.”