By Ugochukwu Alaribe
ABA — A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Abia State, Prince Ben Apugo, has accused the immediate past governor of the state, Senator Theodore Orji of masterminding his arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Apugo was arrested last Friday by EFCC operatives for allegedly selling plots of land belonging to the Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC, but has been released.
In an interview with newsmen in Umuahia, Apugo alleged that in a bid to get back at him over his stand on some issues concerning the governance of the state during Orji’s tenure, the former governor petitioned the EFCC that he (Apugo) sold a land belonging to the Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC.
He narrated how the former governor during his tenure wanted to buy his six plots of land at Umulari Layout, Umuahia, but he refused to sell it to him.
The APC chieftain stated that Orji allegedly went behind him through a man he identified as Izuwa and met his caretaker who sold the six plots of land to him (Izuwa).
He said: “It was after Izuwa went to Theodore Orji, as governor pretending to be obtaining a certificate of occupancy (C of O), that the former governor confiscated the documents and petitioned the EFCC that the land he sold in Umuahia belonged to the Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC.
“What happened in this case was that it was Theodore Orji who took the documents of the land and wrote to EFCC that I sold Nigerian Railway Corporation’s, NRC, land. NRC rail lines are about four kilometres to that place. They have no land there, they have no business there and did not acquire land from me there. And NRC did not say they owned any land there. Even if there was anything like that, it was NRC who should have taken me to court.”
The APC chieftain added that despite the fact that his lawyer appealed against the bench warrant at the Court of Appeal at Owerri and served the Federal High Court, Umuahia, stressing that it was wrong for the court to issue warrant of arrest when his client has not been served, yet EFCC officials went to his house to execute the order.
Apugo stated that when he looked at the entire scenario, he had to follow the EFCC operatives to Enugu because he had nothing to fear.
“It was a grand design to tarnish my image which they will never succeed. Since the court issued the bench warrant, it should have been served on the Commissioner of Police for the order to be carried out, but in this case, it was the EFCC officials from Enugu zone that came to execute the order and they came with as many journalists. I was asked to go immediately I got to the EFCC office in Enugu because they knew I did nothing and that was how that evil plan failed and I returned to my house in Umuahia the same day.”