Theodore Orji & Son
The callous looting of the Abia state treasury by its former governor for eight years running into over 150 billion dollars has been uncovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has revealed how Theodore Orji, a former governor of Abia State, withdrew N500m from the state’s account for eight years.
The commission said the former governor started the monthly withdrawal when he was Chief of Staff to convicted former governor of the state, Orji Uzor Kalu.
EFCC has been looking into various financial malfeasance of Orji following a petition by an anti-graft group, Fight Corruption: Save Nigeria Group.
It was alleged that the various withdrawals were diverted to personal use.
The amount, the investigation revealed, was aside from the security funds expended on the Nigerian Police, Nigerian Army, Department of State Services, Navy etc, purchase of security equipment and vehicles for agencies.
The investigation, according to sources, was extended to his family members to ascertain their link and culpability.
Theodore Orji’s first son, Chinendum, who is currently Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly and his brother are now frequent guests at the EFCC headquarters where they are explaining what they know about the fraudulent withdrawals.
The agency has traced 100 slush accounts to Chinedum.
Over 145 accounts used to coordinate the transfer of N150bn have been linked to Orji’s family.
Some of the funds illegally transferred by the family alleged in the petition include: N383bn revenue from federal accounts; N55bn Excess Crude Revenue; N2.3bn Sure-P; N1.8bn Ecological funds; N10.5bn loan from First Bank of Nigeria through the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Local Government Affairs.
Others are N12bn Paris Club refund; N2bn Agricultural loan for farmers and N55bn ASOPADEC funds.
“Fotoworld Industry Limited, with GTB account number 2022025805 was traced to Chinedum. The company received a deposit of $20, 849, 044.21
“Same company with another account number 2022025764 in First Bank of Nigeria received a cumulative deposit of N362, 573, 056.50.
“Fotoworld has several other accounts with FBN. The accounts and deposits are: 2026144229, $84, 000 cash deposit between 2014 and 2015; between 2012 and 2015, account number 2022025764 housed N342, 573, 056.50; Account number 2022025939between November 2012 and July 2015 received a deposit of £1, 689, 320.89.
“The GTB account 0039060117 of the same company housed N88, 300, 000 between February 2009 and July 2014.
“Exact Construction Limited, traced to Chinedum, is believed to have no record of any construction work in the country; also received humongous deposits in Keystone Bank where an account was opened.
“Between October 2008 and February 2015, the company account number 005374800 had deposits of N1, 188, 924, 190.41,” the petition added.
Acting spokesperson for the EFCC, Tony Orilade, also confirmed that the anti-graft agency was conducting an investigation on financial crimes involving Theodore Orji.