The Enugu State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, (APC), Ben Nwoye, has attributed his invitation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to a petition accusing him of diverting the sum of N20.4m belonging to the party by two women.
Nwoye was at the EFCC Enugu zonal office between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6.45 p.m. on Thursday for questioning over a petition written to the anti graft agency by two faceless women, Ngozi Okoli and Rose Ogbonna.
While the drama lasted, State officials and members of the party in the state kept vigil within the EFCC office in solidarity.
Nwoye later emerged from the office at about 6.45 pm, from where he headed straight to his Enugu residence, where he addressed journalists.
According to the Enugu APC boss, his invitation” bordered on a petition by some faceless individuals accusing him of diverting the sum of N20.4m.”
He blamed his ordeal on Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and Mrs. Juliet Ibekaku, an SA to President Buhari.
He narrated his story thus: “what happened today (Thursday) is a struggle for democracy and in struggle for democracy it is usually tough to truly understand who are the real soldiers; these women and men that are here today, they are the real soldiers, because they stood for what they believe in, they stood for their right, they stood for truth, they stood for justice, they stood for fairness and they stood for equity.
“I was invited by the EFCC, but what struck me was that the invitation came from Benin, with a forwarding letter that I should report to Benin; it was in December. Upon investigation, I came to find out that it was a falsehood orchestrated by Juliet Ibekaku, working in consonance with the minister for foreign affairs, in an attempt to remove me from an office I was elected.
“Juliet, who was once a director in the EFCC used her connection and contact and illegally corrupted certain individuals and having them invited me to Benin, but thanks to God that we have honest people within the EFCC, and so, that petition was transferred, but the intent was to detain me in Benin in an effort to blackmail me, tarnish my name, in retaliation for my call for the removal of the minister. So, it was orchestrated as a retaliatory act against my person, but due to the honesty of men and women in the EFCC, they transferred it to Enugu.
“On reaching to Enugu, they used the name of two individuals, they had a lawyer, who put together a two-page petition, with the name of the petitioner, one Ngozi Okoli, unknown to the party, and another Rose Ogbonna, also unknown to the party, as President and secretary, respectively of what they tagged Enugu State APC women leaders’ forum. There is no such forum; our constitution does not recognize such body known as women leaders’ forum.
“They alleged that I was given money to purchase vehicles for women leaders, vehicles for youths, vehicles for state secretary and I embezzled the money. They claimed that the money came from the national secretariat and that it was N20.4m, and it was given to me with directives to do that.
“Of course, no such thing took place, but because I believe in the system, we believe that the system we put together will have to work for us. Those who sponsored it, those who orchestrated it will someday come to answer. The men and women in the EFCC have looked at it, I have answered the questions, and we will continue it from there.
“We were there from around 10 a.m until about 6.45 p.m. members of the State Exco were there and they all know that you can’t make up facts but because Juliet Ibekaku wants to be a senator or wants the opportunity to have a ticket, she believes that the only way she can remove me is by putting together falsehood and selling it to EFCC.
“And Minister in his collaboration believes that Ben Nwoye must go; he was not a member of our party, we defend this party, we built this party in Enugu, as an alternative platform; while we were building the party as an alternative platform, Juliet Ibekaku was working in the EFCC as a director.
“She goes about telling people that the minister for justice controls the legal department and that she will rubbish anybody; that the minister of justice controls the EFCC, she uses the name of gentleman, an honourable minister that nobody can stand her way, because she wants a senatorial ticket. She convinces a minister, (Onyeama) who is not a politician to attempt to change the party structure, and when that failed, they connived together, put together a fraudulent claim, a malicious claim, so that I will be maliciously prosecuted”.