By Ugochukwu Alaribe
ABA—A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Abia State, Prince Benjamin Apugo has denied being remanded in prison custody by the Federal High Court, Umuahia, Abia State, over a land deal and accused his traducers of spreading false information.
The Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia and presided over by Justice E.E Osiagor on Tuesday, reportedly remanded Apugo in prison custody over alleged land deal which involved N36m.
Briefing journalists at his Nkata Ibeku country home, the APC chieftain described the reports as false and alleged that former governor of Abia State, Senator Theodore Orji imported journalists from outside the state to cover the court proceedings and gave it the coloration he wanted.
Apugo said the truth remains that he appeared before Justice Osiagor on Tuesday as the court directed last week and was served the court charges for the first time the same day against insinuations by his adversaries that he tried to evade taking the charges.
The APC chieftain insisted that he pleaded not guilty to the charges that he illegally sold six plots of land belonging to the Nigeria Railway Corporation, NRC, at Umunwulari Nkata Ibeku layout, Planning Scheme, Umuahia for N36 million while the judge granted him N10 million bail.
Apugo disclosed that he perfected the bail condition the same day and returned to the house, stressing that he was not surprised that the mercenaries allegedly hired by Orji falsely reported that he was remanded in prison custody.
“You have seen me today (Wednesday), am I addressing you from the prison? The truth remains that T.A Orji failed in his bid to get me detained by the EFCC last week and has also failed to influence the court to send me to prison and he feels the only thing he can do was to use mercenaries he imported from outside the state to report falsehood against me in order to tarnish my image and he has also failed.”
He stated that anybody can check the prison records to find out the truth and accused Orji of wallowing in propaganda, stressing that the former governor wants to get back at him over his call for him to render account of his stewardship as governor and vowed never to relent.
Apugo threatened to sue media houses which carried the false story if they failed to retract their reports and commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the EFCC for doing a good job in the fight against corruption.