By Levinus Nwabughiogu – Abuja
Spokesman of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu has said that the lawsuit, questioning the authenticity of his name was a calculated campaign to smear his good image.
He, however, vowed not to be distracted from his determination to provide more democracy dividends for his constituents, asking them not to be distracted but remain focused.
Kalu, who is representing Bende Federal Constituency of Abia State in the 9th House of Representatives was reacting to the suit against him.
Recall that a former aspirant for Bende South seat in the State House of Assembly in the 2019 primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Okechukwu Ezeala had approached an Abuja High court in 2020 but was rejected and sent to Umuahia High Court presided over by Justice O.A. Chijioke to sack Kalu over alleged certificate forgery and impersonation because he did a legal name change which the complainant claimed was not.
Other defendants in the suit No. HU/265/2020, included the ruling APC, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the Speaker, House of Representatives.
In the originating summons, Ezeala alleged that Kalu’s primary and secondary school certificates had irregularities, saying the surnames on his certificates are completely different from his current names.
Reacting, Kalu, who is also a Lawyer said it was an attempt to dent his image.
He however expressed confidence in the judiciary to give him a clean bill of health.
“Maybe the name Rep. Benjamin Kalu is so sparkling clean for a politician who is rising. So, this is their way of attempting to sprinkle imaginary dents on my image. As a lawyer, I should have confidence in our judicial system and they have not failed me previously. They won’t start now.
“It is sub-judicial to begin to discuss the content of the matter in detail. Let’s be patient and allow the court to take a position on this.
“Again, my constituents, friends and family should not worry it will end in praise for what God cannot do does not exist. They shall gather and take counsel but it shall not stand, only the counsel of God shall stand.
“Let them dent my image. I am confident truth will clean it. After all, when I signed for politics, I signed for smear campaigns like this.
“I have my eyes on the ball, it does not matter how threatened they are. I am going for the goal and not perturbed at all. They know this, that’s why they are paying all media platforms to discuss my simple change of name as illegal. The last I checked, it is within my right to choose on how to be addressed and to document it legally as prescribed by law. So, because I changed my surname, it makes my certificates forged certificates. Quite laughable.
“They are paying for my free publicity at least I am trending for free. In politics, no publicity is a bad one. I am ready for them. They are yet to see quality representation for my people which offends their senses. I have no apologies. They should throw more dirts on me. I was prepared for this and it took 17 years in the kitchen. If you hate the heat then leave the kitchen. I signed for this and they should keep bringing it on. Bende must be great”, the Reps’ spokesman said.