OFFICIALS of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) raided the residence of the son of Theodore Orji, former Governor of Abia State, who is being investigated for alleged corruption.
According to the Premium Times, the house, located in the highbrow Maitama area of Abuja, also houses an apartment being occupied by the sons of Abubakar Atiku, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
However, it is not clear who the main target of the EFCC raid was as some say the law enforcement officers had come for Atiku’s sons, Aliyu and Mustapha, both of whom were not around at the time.
Aliyu and Mustapha are believed to be studying abroad and only stay in the house when they are in the country. But, Chiemeka, the son of Theodore Orji, whose apartment is also located in the building, together with his brother, was present when the EFCC men came.
“When the EFCC officers arrived on Saturday, they met Theodore Orji’s sons at home, because they both live in the same building,” Premium Times quoted a source as saying.
“They asked to see the apartment of Aliyu and Mustapha Atiku-Abubakar but Theodore Orji’s sons refused to show them, saying their friends are out of the country, anyway.”
“The EFCC operatives then said they have intelligence that a large cache of dollars had been kept in the apartment which they had come to recover. They forcibly searched the apartment, but there was no hard currency or anything that could be construed as fraudulently damning.”
The sources said Chiemeka and his brother were released soon after they were arrested but their two cars were still in the possession of the EFCC as of Monday morning.
Atiku’s spokesman, Paul Ibe, confirmed the incident, describing it as a “grievous act of intimidation”.
“Atiku Abubakar is destined to win the 2019 presidential election, and Nigerians are set to ensure that destiny holds by voting for him en masse. This grievous act of intimidation now has an expiry date that is dwindling faster than a twinkle,” Ibe said.
However, Tony Orilade of the EFCC said he has no immediate knowledge of the operation. He said it was hugely unlikely that Abubakar’s sons could have been the targets of any such operation if it indeed took place.
Orilade pointed out that the EFCC has been investigating Orji, and it was possible the former governor’s children were the target of further investigations.
Theodore Orji was a guest at the EFCC Headquarters in November this year to answer questions on allegations of embezzlement of public funds during his time as Abia State Governor between 2007 and 2015.
He is accused of diverting monies from the Ecological Funds allocated to Abia State to cater for environmental-related challenges, as well as monies from the Abia State Oil Producing Area Development Commission.