Orji Kalu speaks on ‘campaigning for Buhari because of EFCC case’

Debunking claims that his corruption case at the court has thawed
since he started campaigning for President Muhammadu Buhari's
re-election, a former governor of Abia state and chieftain of the
ruling All Progressives Congress,APC, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu has pointed
out that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is
vigorously prosecuting the case.

In a right of reply to an article where former presidential spokesman,
Segun Adeniyi, allegedly accused him of "gallivanting" all over the
country for Buhari because there is an "anti-corruption" case against
him, the APC stalwart asserted that he has never asked anyone to
intervene on his behalf in the matter before the Federal High Court in
Lagos.

Recall that the EFCC had last month through its counsel in the
corruption case of about N3bn, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, told the court that
it was not deliberately delaying the trial, stating that, "The case
was filed since 2007 and the defendants challenged the jurisdiction of
the court up until 2015, before the Supreme Court made a final
pronouncement on the issue. I cannot be forced to close my case
because we need to bring the facts before the court".

Kalu, in the article published Monday on Daily Sun, maintained that he
has no apologies for campaigning for Buhari's re-election, stating
that it is what he believes in and it is his inalienable right to hold
and express an opinion or belief. "I believe that Buhari's re-election
in 2019 will pave way for president of Igbo extraction in 2023!" he
said.

Part of the essay reads, "How can a man who has been in court for 11
years, and whose case is still being vigorously prosecuted and a
robust defence rising up to the challenge, be said to be doing what he
is doing because of alleged corruption charges?

"The truth is, I have never intervened nor asked anyone to intervene
on my behalf in the judicial process. I remain a firm believer in the
rule of law and would rather the judicial process was fully exhausted
in this matter. I am convinced I haven't stolen a dime while I was in
government. I believe many people, including Segun, know that I am
being persecuted for my principled and dogged stance against former
President Olusegun Obasanjo's evil third term agenda.

"On my ongoing matter with the EFCC, that matter is still being
prosecuted and it would be sub judice to speak extensively on it.
However, I would like to state that, in criminal jurisprudence, cases
must be proved beyond reasonable doubt to achieve conviction. Until
that is achieved, I remain a bona fide free citizen of Nigeria and as
such free to enjoy my right of association, right to free movement and
right to hold opinion, no matter how contrary.

"I have also not interfered with the on-going trial and at no point
has my trial been adjourned because I was not available in court. If
you check the records of court, I have always been present to face
trial. I even had to cut short my business trips to be in court. So,
to make insinuations, like Segun did, is akin to attempting to force
the hand of court. It also represents an effort to blackmail me to
silence.

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