Senator Orji Uzor Kalu who is a former governor of Abia State has said he spent his money in running the state as governor (1999-2007).
The former governor who represents Abia North senatorial district said he also provided diesel for running state at the time. But he did not disclose how much he claimed to have spent and the nature of the grant. He equally had not said what he spent the money on except the diesel part.
Senator Kalu, who was accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of stealing N7.6billion while he served as governor between 1999 and 2007, insisted that the state had no such fund during his tenure.
He stated this on Tuesday while giving his testimony at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, shortly after his counsel, Professor Awa Kalu, led in evidence Senator Kalu who took the witness box.
The chief whip of the Senate denied the allegations brought against him by the EFCC.
“Abia State doesn’t have such amount,” he told the court, adding, “Even the day I was leaving, we borrowed money to pay salaries. Abia State didn’t have even a billion naira in any account at the time I was governor.”
“The monthly allocation of Abia State when I took over in June 1999 was N168 million. It was averaging between N168 million and N172 million monthly.
“The first month that I came in, there was even no money to buy diesel. I spent my own money to run the state for six months,” Senator Kalu.
To support his testimony, the former governor also spoke about the difficulties he encountered in running the state with allocations from the Federal Government.
He said, “In the year 2000, monthly allocation was between N170 million and N189 million. In 2001, it came to about N302 million to about N380 million. I can recollect in 2002, it was almost the same and in 2003 when the revenue allocation was changed, we were having about N400 million.
“The highest money I got as governor came from 2004 when we had about N1 billion and from that time up till May 2007 before I left, what we had was N1.6 billion.
“Throughout my stay in office, I never owed salary and pension. When I took over as governor and before I left, we moved the revenue allocation up to N500 million. It was from this that we were able to do a lot of things.”
The former governor, however, claimed that he gave former President Olusegun Obasanjo the sum of 100 million Naira after he was released from prison in 1998.
He also alleged that he gave the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) the sum of N500 million when it was formed in 1998. Kalu was a prominent member of the PDP, today he is a member of the ruling APC.