All Progressive Alliance (APC) chieftain, Prince Benjamin Apugo has denied being remanded in prison custody by a Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia, Abia State over a land deal.
Yesterday, reports said the Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia and presided over by Justice E.E Osiagor remanded Apugo in prison custody over alleged land deal which involved N36 million.
Regardless, addressing newsmen at his Nkata Ibeku country home, the APC chieftain described the reports as false and without substance.
He accused former governor of Abia State, Senator Theodore Orji, whom he had earlier berated for instigating the case against him, of importing journalists from outside the state to cover the court proceedings and gave it the colouration he wanted, to achieve his evil desire.
Apugo said the truth remains that he appeared before Justice Osiagor on Tuesday as the court directed last week and was served the court process for the first time the same day against insinuations by his adversaries that he tried to evade taking the charges.
The APC chieftain said when the charges that he illegally sold six plots of land belonging to the Nigeria Railway Corporation, NRC, at Umunwulari Nkata Ibeku layout, Planning Scheme Umuahia for N36 million were read to him, he pleaded not guilty and the judge granted him bail in the sum of N10 million.
Apugo went further to state that he perfected the bail condition the same day and returned to his house. He alleged that that the mercenaries hired by T.A Orji went to town with fake reports that he was remanded in prison custody.
“You have seen me today (Wednesday). Am I addressing you from the prison? The truth remains that T.A Orji failed in his bid to get me detained by the EFCC last week and has also failed to influence the court to send me to prison and he feels the only thing he can do was to use mercenaries he imported from outside the state to report falsehood against me in order to tarnish my image and he has also failed.”
He said prison records are there for anybody who wants to find the truth to go and cross check, accusing the former governor of still wallowing in propaganda that was the hallmark of what he called his failed administration.
The APC chieftain said if by trumping up matter which was adjourned to November 17 and 18 for trial, T.A Orji thinks he will get back at him for calling for his (Orji) prosecution over Abia State funds put in his care when he was governor, that he has made a mistake as he (Apugo) would continue to champion calls for him to give account of the Abia money entrusted in his care for eight years as there were nothing on ground to show for the huge funds the state collected from the Federal Government.
“Everybody knows that I have for long been shouting about the looting of the state funds by officials of the state government under T.A Orji and have made calls on the EFCC to recover such funds and this I will continue no matter what anybody does.
Apugo threatened to sue media houses which carried the falsehood if they failed to retract the falsity.
He commended President Mohammadu Buhari and the acting chairman of EFCC for doing a good job in the fight against corruption, saying the country has not had it so good.