Owerri—Former governor of Imo State, Mr. Achike Udenwa, has said that claims by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, that he jumped bail was done in bad faith, saying he was expected to report to the commission yesterday, August 18.
Udenwa in a statement signed by his Media Assistant, Peter Kalu, said he was originally expected to report at the commission on August 13, but explained that because the day fell on a Saturday, the date was shifted to August 18, in agreement with the commission.
He, however, said he was shocked when he was called by his surety on August 16, while he was in Port Harcourt attending the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, convention, that the commission required his presence in Lagos on August 17.
The statement read: ‘’Our attention has been drawn to the report in several media, both electronic and print alleging that Chief Achike Udenwa was arrested and detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on the grounds that he failed to keep to his bail condition by failing to report to the commission when required to do so.
‘’We may not have responded to this but for the numerous enquiries from the media and other members of the public. Also the above reason is very grave and portrays His Excellency as unreliable and may have other sinister motives for not reporting when needed to do so and puts his guarantor in jeopardy.
‘’By a letter dated May 13, 2016, His Excellency applied and obtained permission to travel abroad for medical treatment.
‘’Consequent upon this, the commission released his International Passport which the Commission has been keeping. The commission scheduled his next visit to be13th August 2016. This date was agreed by both parties, not realising that it was a Saturday, a non-working day by the commission. On return , he contacted the officer in charge and agreed a new date of Thursday 18th August.
“Surprisingly, on Tuesday 16th August, His Excellency, while in Port Harcourt for the PDP convention, got a call from his guarantor, that he was urgently required to report to EFCC Lagos office by 10am on Wednesday 17th August, the day of the PDP convention and a day before his scheduled reporting day. He obliged.
‘’On reporting, he met another officer, whom he was directed to see. She immediately confronted His Excellency with the fact that he has deliberately and consistently refused to honour invitations and could no longer be reached.
‘’This was shocking, as all my dealings with the commission should be in the file. This was his fifth visit to the Lagos office and there has been no case of failure to report on appointed date.”