‘I’m not a thief,’ Emotional Kalu defends record at Senate valedictory session

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The Senate Chief Whip, Orji Kalu, Saturday, stunned his colleagues when he broke down in tears at the upper legislative chamber’s valedictory session in Abuja.

The former Abia State governor, who addressed the lawmakers on the floor of the Senate, defended his record in the last 24 years and insisted that he was not a thief.

Kalu lamented that he was labeled a thief by his opponents following his conviction for money laundering by a court four years ago.

He also recalled his role in the formation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 1998.

The Federal High Court, Abuja, sentenced the former governor to 12 years imprisonment over the alleged diversion of N7.1 billion from the Abia State coffers on December 5, 2019.

However, the Supreme Court in a ruling delivered in May 2020 quashed Kalu’s conviction and ordered the trial to start afresh.

READ ALSO: Senate shifts valedictory session to Saturday

He is currently vying for the Senate president despite the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s nomination of former Minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio, for the position.

Kalu said: “Before I came into politics, I could buy anything money could buy. I’m not a thief. Those who put me in prison know the reason. They took over my businesses and wanted to kill me, yet I survived it, and I’m in the Senate with you.

“I have never lacked, while I was in the Peoples Democratic Party where I served for two terms as governor, I brought the money they used to form that party, every penny, in 1997 and 1998, and I later became a thief.

“People I gave transport money from my house in Victoria Island became agents. This is what Nigeria represents.”

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