Members of the Abia State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were on Friday thrown into wild jubilation as a seven-man panel of the Justices of the Supreme Court nullified the conviction of Sen. Orji Kalu.
While the ongoing lockdown in the state may have confined APC and Kalu supporters to their homes, it was gathered that they were happy that the Supreme Court granted Kalu freedom five months of being convicted by a Federal High Court.
Some of the APC supporters, who spoke to The Nation, were however optimistic that Kalu would be acquitted of all the charges against him in the expected retrial.
State Chairman of the party Donatus Nwankpa and Publicity Secretary of APC, Comrade Benedict Godson, said the ruling was heartwarming.
They attributed it to the result of persistent prayers of members who never gave up hope about Kalu regaining his freedom.
Godson said that if not for the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, Aba, Umuahia, Igbere and other parts of the state would have witnessed huge celebration on the streets as Kalu is dear in the heart of many Abians.
Godson said that despite efforts by the ruling class in the state and those who have been dwarfed by Kalu’s representation in the Senate and as an ex-governor, the people of the state still see Kalu as the man, that has the interest of the masses at heart.
According to the APC State Chairman, “We have looked forward to this day and it has come. Abia APC members are just happy, but we are excited and grateful to God.”
On what the judgment means to the party in the state, he said: “What will you do when your father who is not around comes back? Our father was not around for some months now. It hasn’t been the same. But he is back and is back fully. This is not Appeal Court, but the Supreme Court‘s ruling. We are back on track and by the special grace of God, all lost areas will be covered.
“What our leader went for is for reorganisation and spiritual reappraisal. It is God’s way of showing him what people are suffering over there and that has increased his profile and his knowledge of the other side of people.
“He has known that a lot of people are being kept behind bars because there is no one to speak for them. As far as we are concerned, what His Excellency went through is a lesson of life to enable him to contribute more especially as it has to do with the marginalized members of the public.
“He has always spoken for the masses. Today, he is much more exposed, enlightened and informed. He will no longer be speaking from people’s experience but from his personal experience.
On a planned reception for Kalu when he finally decides to visit the state, Nwankpa said: “There is no way that your father will travel and you will not come to welcome your father. But the most important thing is that at the moment, we are under the COVID-19 period, every other thing will be worked out and communicated accordingly.
“The Abia APC members are celebrating. The whole state is celebrating. The congratulatory messages that have been pouring into my phone are across party lines. I have received calls from members of the State and National Assembly members that are not APC members. Kalu is enjoying the goodwill of Abians.”