By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA – SOME leaders of Abia State have protested the indefinite suspension of N7.6 billion fraud trial of ex-Abia governor,Orji Uzor Kalu,by the court, vowing to mobilize one million man street match against the the Federal High Court,Lagos.
They claimed that indefinite suspension of such celebrated case involving tax payers money was another case of double standard in the President Mohammadu Buhari led anti corruption war.
The Abia leaders,under the aegis of Coalition of Concerned Abia Stakeholders , said the planned match was to demand accelerated hearing in the alleged N7. 6 billion fraud charges levelled against Mr Kalu by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission,EFCC.
In a statement made available to the media in Abuja, and signed by the group’s Coordinator,Chief Uche Ajunwa, the Abia leaders said they were shocked over the sudden decision of the court to adjourn the trial of the former governor indefinitely.
According to the statement,” the indefinite suspension of the N7.6billion fraud case against the former governor has already set tongues wagging in the state.”
“This development is a big slap on the sensibility of the people of the state for the All People’s Congress (APC)to have gone ahead to nominate a man that was reported to have allegedly committed such monumental crime against the state as the party flag bearer for Abia North Senatorial seat in 2019 election”,the statement added.
Recall that a federal High Court sitting in Lagos had on Thursday ,adjourned indefinitely the trial of Chief Orji Uzor Kalu over alleged N7.6 billion fraud charges levelled against him by the EFCC.
The coalition in a reaction upon the court verdict,vowed to resist any attempt by anybody no matter how highly placed, to sweep such matter under the carpet .
According to the group: “Indefinite adjournment of such celebrated case was most unfortunate , because of the huge public interest it has generated both within and outside the state ”
“One person alone cannot allegedly loot over N7.6 billion from state treasury and you expect the tax payers in the state to keep quiet
“We are set for a one million man match in the state to demand for immediate reopening of the trial.
“We demand accelerated hearing of this case, because there should be no sacred cow in the current fight against corruption .”
The coalition alleged that suspension of the trial was a grand design by some persons to allow the former governor contest the election for Abia north senatorial seat . We see it as a negotiated freedom to enable him run for the forthcoming election .
“All we want is justice and the indefinite suspension of his trial negate the spirit of anti corruption . And to make matter worse , some of his cohorts are beginning to see the former governor as the anointed one for the seat .
“The former governor is also parading himself as the leader of APC in the South East, and the few of us that joined the party had left on the account of this decision,”it added.