Senator Orji Uzor Kalu (APC, Abia) betrayed emotion during the 9th Senate valedictory session on Saturday.
Kalu teared up as he recalled his trial which saw him spending some months in jail.
A High Court in Lagos sentenced Kalu to 12 years imprisonment in December 2019 for fraud committed while he was Abia State Governor between 1999 and 2007.
Kalu spent six months in the Correctional Facility before he eventually regained his freedom and returned to the Senate following the Supreme Court’s judgement which nullified his conviction on grounds of lack of jurisdiction by the trial judge.
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 preferred against him.
Speaking on Saturday during the 9th Senate valedictory session, Kalu said he had made money before joining politics and played a critical role financially in the formation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He said, “Before I came into politics, I could buy anything money can buy. I’m not a thief. I have businesses scattered across the country. People who could not explain their source of wealth are walking freely.
“Those that 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.
“I have never lacked, while I was in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where I served for two terms as governor, I brought the money that they used in forming that party, every penny, in 1997 and 1998, and I later became a thief.
“People I gave transport money from my house in VI (in Lagos) became agents. This is what Nigeria represents. Thank you for giving me these four years of uninterrupted support.
“This country is not fair.”