Theodore Ahamedule Orji (CON) is a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, representing Abia Central Senatorial District. He was the governor of Abia State between 2007 and 2015, under the platform of the Progressive Peoples Alliance. Prior to this, he served as the Chief of Staff to the 7th Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu.
He was born on November 11th, 1950, in Amaokwe Ugba, Umuahia-Ibeku, Umuahia North local government area, Abia State. He is from the family of Lolo Virginia Orji and Chief Tom Orji Ikoro, who was a warrant chief during the colonial era. Theodore is married to Mercy Odochi Orji, and they have five children – one of which is Hon. Chinedum Orji (the current Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly). He holds many traditional titles, including Ochendo Ibeku, Utuagbaigwe of Ngwaland, and Ohazurume of Abia South.
|University of Ibadan, Oyo State||B.A English||1977|
|Holy Ghost College, Owerri, Imo State||West African Senior School Certificate|
|Santa Crux Secondary School, Olokoro, Umuahia South, Abia State|
|St. Michaels Catholic Primary School, Umuahia, Abia State||First School Leaving Certificate|
|National Electoral Commission of Nigeria (NECON), Abia State; Enugu State||Administrative Secretary||1996; 1997|
|Government House, Umuahia
Bureau of Budget and Planning
Ministry of Agriculture
|Old Imo State Civil Service||Administrative Officer||1979|
|Government Secondary School, Shinkafi, Isa, Sokoto State||Teacher||1978|
Umuahia-Ibeku, Umuahia North LGA, Abia State
November 11th, 1950
People’s Democratic Party
Governor, Abia State (2007-2015)
Chief of Staff to the Executive Governor (1999-2007)
Principal Secretary, Government House, Umuahia
Senator, Abia Central Senatorial District (since 2015)
Orji got interested in politics when he was in Imo State. He held roles at the Cabinet Office, Ministry of Lands and Survey, Ministry of Agriculture, and Imo State Government House.
Upon creating a new Abia State in 1991, Orji returned to Abia, to serve in the Abia State Government House. He rose to become the Principal Secretary of the Government House in Umuahia, and the Chief of Staff to the then Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu.
In December 2006, Orji won the gubernatorial primary elections of the Progressives Peoples Alliance (PPA), in the 2007 Abia State governorship elections. He was declared the winner of the state elections, consequently making history as the first Nigerian governor to win elections while in detention. He was sworn in on May 29th, 2007, as the 8th Governor of Abia State, and was also re-elected into the office on April 26th, 2011.
Following his eight-year tenure, Orji decided to run for the senatorial seat representing Abia Central constituency, under the People’s Democratic Party. In April 2015, he emerged the winner of the elections, making him the Senatorial representative of the Abia Central Senatorial District – an office he holds to date.
Awards & Honours
2021 Abia State Senator of the Year
2018 Best Senator Award by the Authority Newspapers, Lagos
2015 Epitome of Equity and Justice Award by Abia State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (ASOPADEC)
2014 Award of Prudent Management in Governance conferred by Nigeria High Commission, United Kingdom
2014 Man of the Year Award by Nigerian Union of Journalists Zone C
2014 Best Performing Governor in Education and Youth Empowerment conferred by Business Day
2014 National Honour Award as Commander Order of the Niger
2012 Champion Newspapers Icon of Democracy Award
- Construction of the Abia State Specialist and Diagnostic Centre, which has state-of-the-art facilities
- Rehabilitation of several roads in New Umuahia, Obikabia, Omoba and in other parts of Aba
- Built the Ubani Ibeku ultra-modern market, Umuahia
- Provision of fully air-conditioned coaster buses for transportation to the ultra-modern market at a subsidised rate
- Development of Traders Estate, a 5000-housing estate for market traders
- Started construction of new Abia State Government House, Ogurube layout, Umuahia
- T.A Orji’s Annual Scholarship Award has benefited over 600 undergraduate students in Abia Central
- Construction of International Conference Centre, Umuahia with a total capacity of 9000
- In 2017 the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) began investigating Theodore Orji and his sons, Chinedu and Ogbonna, in February 2020. The petition stated that ₦551 billion in public funds were allegedly stolen by Orji and his family – ₦383 billion from federal accounts, ₦55 billion in excess crude revenue, ₦2.3 billion from the Subsidy and Reinvestment Empowerment Program (SURE-P) funds, ₦1.8 billion from ecological funds, ₦10.5 billion loan from First Bank, ₦4 billion loan from Diamond Bank, ₦12 billion Paris Club refund, ₦2 billion agricultural loan for farmers, amongst others.
- On August 19th, 2021, on his way to London, Theodore Orji was arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport after failing to abide by his custody release conditions. In 2020, EFCC released Orji from custody though he had to forfeit his passport. He later requested for the release of his passport to enable him to go to Dubai for medical treatment which was granted. EFCC noted that he had since then, failed to return the passport leading to his arrest. He and his son were brought under interrogation and later released on bail.