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Southeast Group Condemns Kalu’s Retrial, Exposes Plot to Deny Zone Presidency

A foremost Southeast democracy advocacy group has condemned the retrial of former Governor of Abia State and Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, Igbere TV reports.

Kalu was re-arraigned on Tuesday at a Federal High Court in Abuja by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), despite the verdict of the apex court which nullified the trial.

The group known as Southeast Patrons for Good Governance (SPGG) said the development was a clear attempt to cripple the chances of the South East producing the next President of the country in 2023.

SPGG, while expressing disappointment, said Senator Kalu’s re-arraignment was unwarranted “because it is clear the former Governor was innocent of all the allegations.”

Led by the convener, Chief Justin Chukwuka, the group said the nation’s judiciary is being used as a tool to carry out selective justice.

Chief Chukwuka in a statement he personally signed, on behalf of the group, insisted that the retrial was a grand plot by some forces with vested interests in 2023 Presidential election to whittle down the soaring influence of Senator Kalu in the nation.

He said, “It is worrisome because we see how countless individuals with hard evidences of corruption walk freely, hold public offices and even speak at public events.”

Chief Chukwuka said it was more worrisome because it’s clear to all that the Genesis of Senator Kalu’s case was as a result of political disagreement when he defended the nation’s constitution by not fighting the third term agenda of former President Olusegun Obsanjo.

“For instance, a former Lagos State Governor and leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, is alleged to have connived with his cronnies to loot the coffers of Lagos state to the tune of N300billion.

“Implicating documents were published how his Tax consulting firm called Alpha Beta Consulting LLP, used same with his fronts to loot and launder the said amount N300billion.

“Till date his proteges and beneficiaries of his alleged corruption proceeds head major public offices across the country, yet there has been no attempt to prosecute Mr. Tinubu or any of his cronies before a court of competent jurisdiction. His case is just one of so many others, yet Senator Orji Kalu has remained their only target till date since 2007.

“We have studied with keen interest the recent developments in our nation most especially on the political angle, and we have discovered the converted plot to further destabilise the Igbo nation.

“While we are still lamenting our exclusion from the list of newly appointed security Chiefs in the nation, we were greeted with the news of the re-arraignment of our illustrious son Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.

“As a group speaking on behalf of well meaning Southeasteners and Nigerians at large we condemn in absolute totality his retrial before the Federal High Court, our reasons are not far fetched because it’s nothing but a clear attempt to not just  silence Senator Orji Uzor Kalu’s rising profile but to also further suppress the Igbo nation.

“It is unfortunate because there are countless personalities with questionable wealth but are walking freely majority of them are even holding offices in this administration yet they have not for once been arraigned. Why must it always be Senator Orji Uzor Kalu?

“Senator Orji Uzor Kalu became a billionaire long before he got into office as Governor, his travails can be traced to his disagreement with fomer President over third term agenda. Besides, Senator Kalu’s rising profile and sterling performance at the Senate has made him a potential Presidential candidate for 2023, this has however made him an imaginary stumbling block to some interests.

“We ask why must the Igbos continue to be made sacrificial lamb? Only recently President Muhammadu Buhari excluded Igbos in the appointment of the new Service Chiefs, there have also been several appointments no single Igbo man or woman was chosen, yet the very few Igbo leaders remaining are prosecuted.

“The Federal Government should beware that the seed of destruction which they are sowing will definitely boomerang and it would difficult for them to withstand it’s ripple effects.

“We would also like to remind the Federal Government and Nigerians that Senator Kalu made his wealth legitimately; this was further proven when he was listed by Forbes till date as the only politician among Billionaires in Africa. We also remind that Senator Kalu has contributed immensely to the development of this country with his massive investments in both the North and South and has so far engaged over 16,000 workers.

“We state categorically that the Igbos are solidly behind Senator Orji Uzor Kalu; since his assumption into office as a Senator despite being a first time Senator asides his legislative duty Senator Kalu has facilited 19 road projects, reconstructed over 15 schools, constructed boreholes these are in addition to his skills and agricultural empowerment within his Senatorial district,” the statement concluded.

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