Solemnity enveloped the ninth Senate when Orji Kalu, burst into tears while giving his valedictory speech on the floor on Saturday.
Kalu, while weeping, stated that he was labelled a thief by some entities who conspired against him.
He said, “Before I came into politics, I could buy anything money could buy. I’m not a thief. Those who put me in prison know the reason. They took over my businesses and wanted to kill me, yet I survived it, and I’m in the Senate with you.”
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had arraigned the former Abia governor and Ude Jones Udeogu, a former director of finance and accountant, on 36 counts of money laundering to the tune of N7.1 billion.
On December 5, 2019, Kalu was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment, while Udeogu got a 10-year sentence.
The Supreme Court later nullified the trial of Kalu and his co-convicts.
The apex court held that Mohammed Idris, the trial judge who had been elevated to the court of appeal at the time of the case, ought not to have presided over the matter while he was an appeal court judge.
No fresh charges have been filed against him.
The chief whip said before he ventured into politics, he was wealthy and played a critical role financially in the formation of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Senator Kalu stated, “I have never lacked, while I was in the Peoples Democratic Party where I served for two terms as governor, I brought the money they used to form that party, every penny, in 1997 and 1998, and I later became a thief.
“People I gave transport money from my house in Victoria Island became agents. This is what Nigeria represents.”
Senator Kalu, who is also a frontline contender for the leadership of the 10th Assembly, said that the country was not fair.
He added, “Thank you for giving me these four years of uninterrupted support. This country is not fair.”