Arising from the meeting of stakeholders and civil society organizations as regards the alleged recent death threats and assassination attempts on the life of the Secretary General of the National Union of Textile Workers (NUTGTWN), Comr. Issa Aremu, by Honourable Chidi Duru, a former House of Representatives member and former Vice Chairman of First Guarantee Pension Limited (FGPL) including the recent granted press conference by his lawyer who was arraign along with him Mr. Smart Iheazor, as regards the travails of Duru in the hands of security operatives and the anti-graft agencies,
Comr. Tijani Dantijo, National Coordinator of Transparency Accountability Network (TAN) said Chidi Duru should face the consequences of his actions rather than blame anyone or point accusing fingers for his challenges. Asking that, was it the people mentioned that told him to defraud the shareholders?, that was it the people that triggered his involvement with the South African firm without due recourse to Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) or even cornering the funds meant for the company to his private accounts? That there are a lot of mind boggling allegations and revelations about the former House of Representatives member that cannot be swept under the carpet. He said, “Looking at the case critically from its merits, there is more to it than meet the eyes. Why is he so desperate to get back to the office now that the company has bounced back after change of management few years ago; what must have pushed him to constitute an illegal ‘executive committee members’ and even contemplate breaking the office of the FGPL early this year with armed thugs and carting away several confidential documents and files relating to his siblings including laptops; it shows glaringly that he is not fit and proper to be given such a sensitive place to handle that deals with retiree pensions.
In a terse press release by the National Coordinator, he wondered what must have irked the former legislator to unlawfully take laws into his hands by diverting shareholders’ funds to his private pockets and also jumping bail on several occasions.
He emphasized that Nigerians should not be hoodwinked by his presumed innocence and that he should proof his case beyond reasonable doubts in the law courts and also tell Nigerians why a single individual of his caliber will be facing multiple charges and summons from across the land bordering on theft, conspiracy, fraud, forgeries etc.
Duru is alleged to be a serial liar, swindler and a fugitive, who will do anything including blackmail and character assassination to get attention. These have become his trademarks over the years because he has an axe to grind with his perceived enemies. Nigerians should look critically at his antecedents, traits and character over the years so as not to be deceived by the antics of a drowning man who is hell bent on casting aspersion on the management of FGPL. TAN wonders how he became a member of the House of Representative in the first place.
The National Coordinator of TAN, also gave a pass mark and vote of confidence on the anti-graft agencies and security agencies for their timely intervention and urged them not to relent on their oars but to make sure justice is done so as to serve a deterrent to those who steal pension funds knowing fully there is an adage that says “retirement ought to be sweet” but the reverse is the case, as retirees and stakeholders under him then had to suffer unjustly for his financial mismanagement as vice chairman of the company.
According to Comrade Dantijo, it is on record that the ‘persons of interest’ including the present chairman of FGPL, Alh.Kashim Imam, had told Nigerians that the purported letters emanating then from Chidi Duru which were supposedly written from the DPP and AGF’s office were written by his sister while she held sway in the AGF office as a Director and she has been reprimanded accordingly by the anti-graft agencies.
The chairman had also told Nigerians how Duru and his siblings cornered the funds of the company for their private use, adding that, people should be asking him now; who are his sponsors?
What are their selfish motives and what are they out to gain? After Duru resigned amidst turmoil in 2011 due to mounting pressure from management and shareholders who were tired of his alleged atrocities, why now the desperation to come back at all cost from the back door after been indicted for financial recklessness?
Comr Dantijo posited that all the fairytales told by his lawyers are re-invented stories told to the security agencies and Nigerians over and over again since his ordeal started after plundering millions of naira of shareholders’ funds to his pocket and called on the IGP not to relent but to properly investigate the death threats and assassination attempts on the life of a fellow Comrade, who has served Nigeria meritoriously.
He called on Nigerians not to support corruption no matter whatever guise, form or the person involved; that Duru should face the consequences of his actions and stop pointing accusing fingers and crying foul where there is none.
Emphasizing, that this should be enough of his campaign of calumny and whipping up of sentiments.