By Uche Amunike
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has released the former Abia State governor, Senator Theodore Orji on bail.
Senator Orji, who was arrested by officers of the Commission, Thursday, was taken to their headquarters for interrogation after which he was granted an administrative bail on same day.
Recall that the former governor, Sen Theodore Orji had been on the watch list of the EFCC for a long time.
Luck ran out on him when he was intercepted alongside two of his sons at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and whisked to the EFCC Head Office for questioning.
For months now, the EFCC has been investigating him for alleged money laundering and misappropriation of public funds.
His sons, Chinedu Orji and Ogbonna Orji are also under investigation.
Allegations against him included receiving N500m (Five hundred million naira) on a monthly basis as security votes for the eight years he served as governor of Abia State from 2007 to 2015.
He was also alleged to have mismanaged N2bn (Two billion naira) Ecological Funds and Sure-P Funds.
Even though the spokesperson of the Commission, Wilson Uwujaren confirmed that they detained the former governor and son, he refused to give further information on the matter.
In February 2020 the EFCC interrogated the embattled Senator and his son over allegations of diversion of N521bn ( Five hundred and twenty-one billion naira) public funds.
This led to a group known as Fight Corruption: Save Nigeria Group to write a petition dated March 17, 2017 where they demanded Senator Orji should be investigated for the diversion of N383bn(Three hundred and eighty three billion naira) revenue from the Federation Account, N1.8 billion naira Ecological funds, N2bn (Two billion naira) agricultural loan, N55bn (Fifty five billion naira excess crude revenue, N12bn (Twelve billion naira Paris Club refund, N10.5bn loan, N2.3 billion naira Sure-P revenue and N55bn ( Fifty-five billion naira) ASOPADEC money during his tenure.
The petition stated that the N500m (Five hundred million naira) withdrawn on a monthly basis by Senator Orji was not a part of the security funds mapped out for the Nigerian Army, Anti-robbery squad, the Nigerian Police, DSS, Navy, Anti-kidnapping squad, purchase of security equipment and vehicles for the security agencies.
His son, Chinedu Orji was accused of owning about 100 bank accounts in different Banks and alleged that the different accounts which are run as both corporate and individual accounts have surplus cash deposited in them without proof of job or services rendered.
His son, Chinedu is the incumbent Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly. He turned himself in when he found out that his father was arrested and was detained by the officers promptly.
He is now to frequently visit the headquarters in order to unravel his involvement in the fraud his family is being accused of.
The Fight Corruption: Save Nigeria Group confirmed that the EFCC extended their interrogation to the extended members of the former governor’s family in order to find out their level of involvement in the alleged fraud perpetrated by their father.