The lawmaker representing Abia North Senatorial district and Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu, has reacted to his trial for an alleged N7.65 billion fraud.
The former Governor of Abia State in an interview with Arise TV said he is too wealthy to suddenly become a thief in Nigeria.
He said, “Everybody, even you Reuben (Abati), you know me pre-1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, you know I bankrolled everything, all the money politicians paid during that period, you know I was the one who brought the money in the PDP. So, how can I become a thief suddenly?”.
According to him, the fraud report was a creation of the media, and he does not want to talk about it as the case is still in court, “I am not supposed to talk about matters in court,” he said.
Recall that Kalu was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission which accused him of diverting money when he was the Governor of Abia State.
The Guardian newspaper quoted Mr Kalu as telling the court in 2019, during his trial, that he gave the Peoples Democratic Party N500 million when the party was at its formative stage, and that he also gave former President Olusegun Obasanjo N100 million when he (Obasanjo) came out of prison in 1998.
The senator was sentenced to 12 years in prison in December 2019, but his conviction was later nullified by the Supreme Court and he was eventually released from prison in May 2020.
The lawmaker during the interview further stated that his trial was orchestrated by people who were envious of him and wanted him destroyed.
“A lot of people think I became very successful at (an) early age, why must I have money and power. These people carelessly put me in prison for six months for doing nothing.”