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The Chief Whip of the Senate, Sen. Orji Kalu, says he is grateful to God for allowing him to go to prison and come back.
Kalu stated this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia on Tuesday, adding that going to prison was a good experience for him.
Kalu was sentenced to Kuje Correctional Centre for 12 years on December 5, 2019 for allegedly misappropriating about N7.1 billion, while serving as Abia governor between 1999 and 2007.
However, the Supreme Court on May 8, 2020 upturned his trial and conviction by Justice Muhammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos.
The apex court had said that Idris lacked the jurisdiction to try the matter, having been elevated to the Court of Appeal.
According to the statement by his Media Aide, Peter Eze, some prominent Abia politicians, who were vexed by Kalu’s scathing criticism against the state government, accuse him of still suffering from his prison experience.
But speaking at a campaign rally for Chief Mascot Kalu, his younger brother and the All Progressives Congress candidate for the March 27 Aba North/South Federal Constituency poll, Kalu reportedly thanked God for his prison experience.
The statement quoted Kalu to have said that his detractors were “little-minded to think he is ashamed of his prison experience.
“My conspirators thought I would be president in 2023, so they decided to cut my journey short at all cost.
“But you see, these people are not God. They think I am ashamed to have gone to prison.
“I am not and I don’t blame them because they don’t know my relationship with God.
“Joseph went to prison, even former President Olusegun Obasanjo went to prison.
“My going to prison is part of my life script and I am thankful God allowed it.
“They are little minds and wicked people, who have refused to do any project for their own people .
Kalu recently criticised the state government for failing to address the huge infrastructure deficit in Abia.
He said the ongoing road repairs in Aba were funded by the Niger Delta Development Commission and Federal Government and not Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu’s administration.
He further criticised the administration for failing to regularly pay workers’ salaries as and when due.
However, the Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi, said the state government secured N27.4 billion World Bank facility to fund road projects in Aba.
Okiyi refuted the allegation that the projects were being executed by the federal government, saying that federal government does not build internal roads in states. (NAN)