The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it is investigating an ex-governor of Abia State (2007-2015) for corrupt practices. The ex-governor is accused together with his son, Chinedum Orji, Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, of misappropriating more than N500bn of State funds during the period of the ex-governor’s administration. The allegations against the ex-governor were made by a group known as Fight Corruption: Save Nigeria Group. The petitioner accused the Senator of diverting funds from the Abia State treasury and other government funds, and accused his son of operating multiple personal and corporate bank accounts that receive huge cash deposits without evidence of services rendered. This is coming months after a former governor of Abia State and Senator representing Abia North Senatorial District, Orji Uzor Kalu was convicted and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for fraud involving over N7 billion. Senator Kalu served as Abia State governor between 1999 and 2007 while Senator Orji, who had been his Chief of Staff took over as governor between 2007 and 2015.
Abia State has suffered severe under-development since the return to civilian rule in 1999. Its major commercial city, Aba, which was the hub of trade in eastern Nigeria, is a ghost of its prosperous past today. Infrastructure in the State is totally dilapidated, roads impassable and in ruins. Citizens in the State continue to express concerns about the quality of governance in the State with no end in sight and its deterioration continuing.