- Dr Ahmad Lawan has explained why the Senate refused to declare Orji Kalu's s seat vacant during his time in prison
- The Senate President said preserving Kalu's seat and his position was the right and just thing to do
- Lawan made the comment when a delegation from Abia state paid him a visit on Tuesday, July 7
Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan on Tuesday, July 7 explained why the Nigerian Senate refused to declare Senator Orji Uzor Kalu's s seat and position vacant during the period of his incarceration.
Lawan told leaders of thought from Abia state that what the Senate did by preserving Kalu's seat and his position was the right and just thing to do.
The delegation of the leaders of thought were led by Senator Chris Adighije and Senator Nkechi Nworgu.
Kalu was serving as the Senate Chief Whip when a court in Lagos sentenced him to 12 years imprisonment in December 2019 for fraud committed while he was Abia state governor between 1999 and 2007.
He spent six months in prison before he eventually regained his freedom and returned to the Senate following a Supreme Court's judgement which nullified his conviction.
"We came under pressure, of course. But we thought the right thing to do was to keep that seat, that position until he was able to get his judgement,” Lawan told the delegation.
Kalu's return to the Senate, however, caused outrage on social media, as many Nigerians berated the Senate leadership for allowing the former Abia state governor return to his position.
Ada Campbell wrote on Twitter: "Orji Uzor Kalu’s return to the Senate is so depressing. He was convicted for N7.5bn fraud and sentenced to 12 years in prison. While in prison, he received salaries from the government. Five months into his sentence, he’s been released and back in the Senate. Just hopeless."
Henry Shield wrote: Orji Uzor Kalu came out of prison and resumed work immediately as the chief whip of the Senate. Honestly, we have to respect how the APC is fighting corruption
Meanwhile, Honourable Benjamin Kalu on Tuesday, June 2, condemned the actions of a group that staged a protest at the National Assembly calling for the recall of Senator Kalu.
Honourable Kalu alleged that the protesters were hired by aggrieved political opponents of the senator who wanted to embarrass him.
Kalu who is the spokesman of the lower house and member representing Bende federal constituency of Abia state added that none of the protesters were from Abia state.