The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide has told Orji Uzor Kalu, former governor of Abia, to return all that he took from the state.
The group in a statement on Saturday, said Kalu, who is now the chief whip of the senate, should endear himself to the people as the new “Mandela of Africa.”
This comes after the supreme court dismissed Kalu’s conviction over alleged fraud and ordered a retrial.
Kalu was convicted in 2019 by a federal high court in Lagos for N7.1 billion fraud and subsequently sentenced to 12 years in prison after standing trial on a 39-count charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In the statement, Obinna Achionye, deputy president-general and Okwu Nnabuike, secretary-general of the youth council, said the apex court upturned the conviction after “persuasive pressure” from groups and “stakeholders.”
“The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide has described the Supreme Court Ruling that quashed the Conviction of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu as the collaborative persuasive Pressure from Groups and stakeholders to ensure that the maverick Politician should regain control of his freedom but cautioned that he should desist from Smearing the image of Abia State Government but enter into plea bargain with the EFCC and return all the money he allegedly took from the Coffers of Abia State Government,” the statement read.
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“This is the only way for him to be totally free from the hook of EFCC and Abia State Citizens Verdict as Posterity will be kind to him.
“Ndigbo had been at crossroads without a political rallying point, since the demise of Igbo legends – Dim Chukwuemeka Odiegwu Ojukwu, Former Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme, Col Joe Achuzie and Justice Ezebuilo Ozobu.
“Orji Kalu should rise up above party politics and loyalty and support every collective commitment and interests of Igbos as it will heal the wounds of his past and perceived misdeeds done in error.”