•Says ex-governor raped Abia
By Iheanacho Nwosu
ELDER statesman and member Board of Trustees (BoT) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Chief Benjamin Benedict Apugo yesterday descended heavily on former governor of Abia State, Theodore Orji describing him as “an unrepentant liar who raped Abia state.”
Apugo said it was surprising that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was yet to clampdown on the former governor even when the anti-graft agency had carried out an extensive investigative of him in January 2015.
It is the second time in two weeks that the APC chieftain would hit out at Orji.
Reacting to the ex-governor’s criticism of his advice to Abia state governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu to distance himself from his predecessor, Apugo, in a paid advertorial labelled Orji a liar who has shown that he lacked integrity.
“My attention has been drawn to the publications in some national dailies particularly Daily Times Newspaper of February 11, 2016, with the above caption in which the immediate past governor of Abia State, Chief Theodore Ahamefule Orji, reacted to a piece of advice I gave to Ikpeazu.
“In the said reaction, which is full of cheap lies, Orji, as usual, stood truth on its head when he said among other things that I, Prince Benjamin Benedict Apugo (Ochiagha/Oparaukwu Ibeku ancestral Kingdom), has a pending case with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). According to him, the case was instituted by people that I defrauded.”
The APC stalwart continued: “One had thought that Orji’s lying and deceptive tendencies would have ended with his leaving office as governor.”
Distancing himself from the allegation by the former governor that he was at loggerheads with his kinsmen in Umuahia and that he had a case with EFCC over attempts to appropriate a parcel of land belonging to the state government, Apugo dismissed the claim as false.
“The purported case with EFCC was mischievously instigated by the same T. A. Orji, when he was governor, using one Mr. Obioma Isiuwa, who bought a piece of land belonging to me through my caretaker.
“ Later, T. A. gave Isiuwa a letter to report me to the EFCC, claiming that the plot of land I sold to him belonged to the government.
“What T.A did was to malign my integrity, which, even if he becomes the president of Nigeria, he can not possess because integrity is not bought from the shop.
“The claim that I sold a plot of land belonging to government in its entirety is false.”
The elder statesman reiterated the need for Ikpeazu to be wary of T.A Orji, insisting that his records in government were not such that anybody would proudly associate himself with.
He denied that his advice to Ikpeazu was a strategy to draw close to the governor.
“The insinuation that I am seeking Governor Ikpeazu’s attention is another goof from somebody that calls himself a former governor.
“If T. A., as my kinsman could waste eight years in Government House, Umuahia, and I never went there for even one day to seek for any favour, and even rejected the huge sums of money he brought to me, and banned him from entering my compound, how come anybody would expect me to seek favour from someone I don’t know or have never met before?”
Apugo recalled how he supported the former governor to become governor even against the wish of his then Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
According to Apugo, he did that in the belief that the ex-governor will do well in office regretting that the eight years of T.A. Orji were later to witness mindless corruption and huge misrule.
Dismissing the ex-governor’s allegations against him as laughable, Apugo told T.A. Orji that he cannot taint his reputation now and reminded him of several efforts he made while in government to tarnish his image or rope him into a problem but failed.
He particularly recalled how T.A. Orji tried to stop the then APC Presidential candidate who is now President, Muhammadu Buhari, from campaigning in Abia State but noted how he led some indigenes of the state to resist attempts by the former governor to rig the results of the presidential poll.
“Is it not this same T. A. Orji, who, as governor stopped the then APC presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, from campaigning in Abia state?
“And, to prove my loyalty to the party and especially Buhari, I and my teeming supporters physically stopped T. A. Orji, from inflating the votes cast in Abia for the then PDP presidential candidate, Goodluck Jonathan when he (T.A) found out that Jonathan was losing the election despite the rigging perpetrated by T.A. in favour of Jonathan.”
•See full text on Pages 45-47 of The Sun newspaper today February 22