John Okiyi Kalu

by Tony Icheku

Only the EFCC or the Court can have the last word on the controversies surrounding the N22 billion Paris Club Refund to Abia as the matter is currently before them, says Chief John Okiyi Kalu to Dr Alex Otti

Kalu further added  that the Dr Okezie Ikpeazu administration will not  join issues with Dr Otti as his  every interventions on governance in Abia are "motivated  by personal  rather than public interest"

Kalu, Abia state Commissioner for Information made the caustic remarks in his response posted on the social media reacting to Otti's comments on the Paris Club refund to Abia titled "Who Are You to Ask Me Questions"

The Commissioner, in several posers thrown to Dr Otti/the public  maintained that the banker turned politician  in an earlier article  craftily manipulated words to show his intent as  a man on a mission to attack the government, rather than one seeking for answers? 

Kalu who asserted that Gov Ikpeazu judiciously utilized  the N22 billion Paris Club Refund to Abia nonetheless threw the following posers:

" If a matter is before the Court and the state government is defending it with well qualified lawyers does that not show that the governemnt has taken more than cursory  interest in the matter?;

" If a matter is under investigation by EFCC and the state government openly says to those invited to go there and defend themselves is the same government expected to be making media statements on same matter or wait for the outcome of the investigation?;

" If there was a purported agreement reached before the pendency of an administration and the administration says “we will not pay because such an agreement is wrong and does not reflect current market position” is that not a clear repudiation of the agreement in favor of what is deemed to be in tne best interest of the people?;

"How do you then respond to someone who mentioned all the above in his letter and yet proceeds to make media capital out of a matter which his principal witness, Obinna Oriaku, has publicly stated that Governor Ikpeazu managed the Paris Club Refund judiciously?"

An obviously irked Kalu finally asked: "Finally, gentlemen of the press, if as a media manager you realize that someone is clearly on a mission of mischief will you pamper the person? 

"A man who claims to be asking questions forr public good titles his intervention “Abia Paris Club Refund: Stealing At An Industrial Scale” what exactly is he implying other than that the incumbent administration stole N22b Paris Club Refund and his intention is to case the government in bad light? 

" Does even the title or his craftily manipulated words show a man who wants to merely ask questions so as to get answers or a man on a mission to attack the government? If you then know this how will you handle the individual?", he queried.

Dr Otti, who writes a weekly column with a daily national newspaper provoked the Abia spokesperson by asserting that the Abia governor "...should take more than passing interest in the matters before the EFCC and the High Court to ensure that the matter was not only muddled up but expanded to include recovery of looted funds from the treasury of the state."

Otti was making his second intervention on the N22billion Paris Club Refund to Abia state received by former Governor Theodore Orji which is currently a subject of EFCC investigation and also a case before the courts.