For the first time ever, a sitting Nigerian governor has
waived his constitutional immunity. Governor Theodore Orji of the southeastern
state of Abia has invited the anti-corruption agency to probe allegations of
graft against him. He says he wants the
economic and financial crimes commission, or EFCC to look into allegations made
by an influential newsmagazine, The Tell.
Governor Orji was elected while being detained by the agency on suspicion of corruption. He says he will continue to support the government's effort to clean up what he calls the country's corrupt system. Analysts say by this action, the governor has set an example for other public office holders to follow. English to Africa reporter Chinedu Offor reached Governor Orji in the capital city of Abuja for his thoughts.
The governor has set an example for other public office holders to follow. Governor Orji says confidence is very vital if a public officer is to perform his duties.
"I feel it is the right thing to do, first and foremost, it is the right thing to do, and to show that people in government are transparent. You have to show your transparency by example and secondly it is to discredit those people who are on a malicious vengeance mission on public officers, people who write falsehood on public officers, people who don't see anything good in public officers. This is the two reasons why I have to do that".
He says the decision to invite the EFCC is primarily a personal decision and not intended to force other officials to follow his example.
"That decision is of my own decision, am not doing it to set an example, for other people, I am doing it as per my own person who wants to emulate me is free to do that. What I have done is borne out of my own conscience to show the world, to tell that people that I am innocent of the accusations that are being leveled against me and then to tell the world also that there are some people, some bad eggs I journalism whose stock in trade is to damage people ".