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Apugo bombs TA Orji again

•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