A Notable Nigerian senator, Orji Uzor Kalu, has been found guilty of 39 fraud charges of about $19.6 m (£ 14.9 m) and has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Kalu is a member of the All Progressive Congress (APC) of President Muhammadu Buhari. He is also a chief whip in the upper house of the federal parliament.
He was convicted of siphoning state money while he was the governor of the south-eastern Abia state between 1999 and 2007, along with a company he controlled, and another individual.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of Nigeria, were the ones who brought the charges and the case started in 2007.
According to Punch Newspaper, Kalu who seemed to be shaken in court, begged officers not to handcuff him as they led him out.
President Buhari has vowed to root out corruption but has achieved uneven success so far.
The sentencing and imprisonment of Orgi Uzor Kalu has been decried by many in the country as a political and ethnic witch hunt. This is because there are numerous past Governors, senators, presidents, and all manner of public servants who have stolen huge amounts of money in Nigeria. His supporters say that he was singled out of the numerous corrupt and thieving politicians and punished because of his ambitions for becoming president in 2023.
Many of the people from his ehtnic nationality see his imprisonment as an attack on the South-East, since there were multiple past Northern governors with similar records of curruption, but where not facign any cases or investigations by the EFCC.
The past governor, and current senator, will serve a jail term of 12 years, but it is to the surprise of may Nigerians that the Nigerian Senate has said that they would not declare his seat vacant. Many Nigerians are surprised as to the motive behind such stand, and hope that the senate would clarify the nation on why a sentenced politician would still hold unto his seat and receive full salaries without active representation for his people.
We feel that the government of the day should do its best in making the fight against corruption an even one. We also hope that this sentencing would teach Nigerian politicians a lesson, and deter them from stealing the collective funds of the people.