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RE: B.B Apugo on T.A Orji (1) – Don Norman Obinna

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I will start by reminding my senior colleague and good friend, Mr. Ebere Wabara that Senator Theodore Ahamefule Orji is a nobleman; the undisputed father of modern Abia politics and as such, the act of prescribing norms of behavior to the upcoming Abia State politicians is not just an option, but gargantuan responsibility incumbent upon him even in the face of provocative political contrivances.

Honestly, I wouldn’t have given heed to the animus of a rabble-rouser which I treated effectively in Authority newspaper of Wednesday, March 2, 2016, page 14 and had long consigned to the dustbin, but because a supposed people’s trustee, Mr. Wabara in an overt display of animosity towards Sen. Orji presented the vituperation to readers in his column on page 18 of Daily Sun newspaper of Monday, April 18, 2016 as educative, informative, instructive and entertaining undermining the FOBA – Fairness, Objectivity, Balance and Accuracy – of journalism.

In that article titled: B.B Apugo on T.A Orji (1), Mr. Wabara in his calculated but futile attempt to cast aspersions on Sen. Orji regurgitated defamatory allegations against him concocted by his paymaster, Chief Benjamin Apugo without consideration for the legal implications and adverse consequences such thoughtless action will have on his personality and profession.

However, for accountability and integrity sake; attributes that characterize Sen. Orji’s leadership style and subsequently earned him the respectable and envious status of the Father of Modern Abia Politics and recently the Opuru Iche (Unique) 1 of Igbo land, I will rather refute the wicked lies than dignify Wabara’s obvious self-immolation.

Firstly, the allegation that “Sen. Orji while serving as the Executive Governor of Abia State obtained landed properties forcefully from their rightful owners at Nkata Ibeku, Old Umuahia, Ministry of Lands, Umuahia main market (where he is currently building a private housing estate), Ajata Okwuru, Gariki Umuahia (where he is building a shopping mall), Isi-court gravel market, Umuhute, Ihie, Umuoho, Umuana, Mbom, Emede, Urban and several others” was not only false but a calculated attempt to heat-up the Abia polity.

For the records, the Min. of Lands and Umuahia main market were built by Trademall LTD, owned by the Managing Director of Platinum Bank Mr. Mbaka strictly for commercial purposes for interested buyers. Old Umuahia Housing Estate was built by Aso Savings also for interested buyers just to ease accommodation problem. The shopping mall located at former Gariki Umuahia was built by Pro-M and opened for interested persons who want to own shops there, while Isi-court gravel market was built by Umuahia South Local Government and allotted to traders. These are verifiable and I challenge interested Abians to leverage on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), by approaching the appropriate ministry to ascertain the truth.

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It is also worthy to mention that Sen. Orji has no property or properties in Ajata Okwuru, Ihie, Umuohu, Umuana, Mbom, Emede and Urban as alleged by Apugo and rubberstamped by his puppet Mr. Wabara. It is a known fact in Umuahia that Chief Apugo has maximized all the lands in Nkata down to Ogurube Layout claiming ownership, so Sen. Orji could not have possibly owned a land in Nkata Ibeku where every land belongs to Chief Apugo.

Mr. Wabara should have known by now that his mentor; Chief Apugo was not only accused of land appropriation by his kinsmen but also dragged before the EFCC by Falana & Falana’s Chambers for defrauding one Mr. Obioma Isiuwa the sum of N36, 000, 000.00 (Thirty six million naira), through the sale of six plots of land measuring 24,364 hectares already acquired for the Federal Government Railway project.
Yet Wabara thoughtlessly republished thus: “If there is anybody in Abia State who has a pending case with the EFCC, it is no other person than T.A. Orji who is still on bail.

It is indisputable that T.A was arrested and arraigned in Lagos High Court by the EFCC for looting Abia State funds when he was Chief of Staff to former governor Orji Uzor Kalu. (See page 32 of TELL Magazine edition of June 25, 2007). The case is still pending.”

Can you imagine! If nothing, this allegation republished by Wabara on behalf of his mentor, Chief Apugo has made caricature of his wittiness which I thought he possesses until now. It is even more embarrassing to the members of the fourth estate of the realms to say the least, that Mr. Wabara who is at the commanding heights of this noble profession that places a premium on presentation of facts rightly would regurgitate an allegation of a faceless group- Save Abia Initiative for Change- to incite the good and peace loving people of Abia State against Sen. Orji.

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Come to think of it, if Sen. Orji is the actual person the EFCC was after, why then is he still walking around free and executing diligently his legislative duties while his former boss who he served under as Chief of Staff has labored in vain since 1997 to circumvent arrest through court injunction before the anti graft agency finally had a breakthrough? EFCC knows who it is looking for and has made it clear to Nigerians; one had therefore expected Mr. Wabara to channel the energy he is dissipating on obnoxious propaganda to building the political image and integrity of his boss than corroborating the ranting of his illiterate mentor.

Sen. Orji had forgiven Mr. Wabara, thank God he even acknowledged it in one of his columns where he tendered unreserved apology to Sen. Orji for libelous publications he masterminded against him. I therefore advise Mr. Wabara as a friend, colleague and brother not to take the benevolence of Sen. Orji for granted and as a matter of urgency desist from further publications of malevolent lies against his person or we would be forced to take legal action against you. A word is enough for the wise.

Don Norman Obinna is the media adviser to Senator Theodore Orji

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