The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday arrested and detained former governor of Abia State, Theodore Orji and his son over allegations that they diverted public funds.
The former governor was reportedly intercepted at the Nnamdi International Airport, Abuja at about 10 am, and driven to the headquarters of the EFCC in Jabi, Abuja
Orji, a senator currently representing Abia Central, is currently being quizzed alongside his son, Chinedu, the current speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly.
Although the former governor was arrested, his son, Chinedu Orji, reportedly turned himself in this afternoon upon learning of the arrest of his father and was immediately detained by operatives of the commission.
the arrest and detention of the former governor and his son.
“It’s true. He was picked at the Abuja airport today”, EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren told The Guardian, confirming the arrest of the former governor.
He, however didn’t provide further details.
The former and his sons, Chinedu and Ogbonna, have for months been under EFCC investigation for alleged misappropriation of public funds and money laundering.
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 N2 billion Ecological Fund and mismanagement of Sure-P funds.
The EFCC had in February 2020 interrogated Mr Orji and his son over allegations that they diverted N521 billion public funds.
The investigation followed a petition dated March 17, 2017, filed by a group, Fight Corruption: Save Nigeria Group.
The petitioners had accused Mr 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.”
The petitioners also accused Mr Orji’s son, Chinedu, of owning about 100 accounts in different banks.
The petitions alleged that the accounts which run both as corporate and Individual received ”so much deposit in cash without evidence of job or services rendered.”