NewsNigeriaSupreme Grants Uzor Kalu, Others Victory

    Supreme Grants Uzor Kalu, Others Victory

    The Nation Newspapers recall that a federal high court in Lagos had on Friday, May 8, 2020, convicted the former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, who also doubles as chief whip of the senate for a N7.1 billion fraud.

    The three convicted entities included: Orji Uzor Kalu currently the federal lawmaker representing Abia North Senatorial District, Slok, and Jones Udeogu, a former Director of Finance, Abia State.

    They were initially convicted for allegedly using Slok Nigeria Limited to defraud the government of Abia State in the two tenures Kalu served as governor.

    The presiding judge, Mohammad Idris, sentenced the former governor to 12 years behind bars for money laundering in December 5, 2019.

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    The judge also ordered Kalu’s company, Slok Nigeria Limited, be liquidated together with a forfeiture of its entire assets to the federal government.

    Kalu stood trial on a 39-count charge levied against him by Nigeria’s number one anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

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    Besides being accused of illegally looting over N7 billion from Abia State treasury, the lawmaker was also accused of looting N460 million from the Abia state government.

    In another report, The Premium Times stated the embattled former governor was dissatisfied with the Federal High Court’s judgement, so he had no choice but to head to the Supreme Court for redress.

    It would be recalled Mohammed Idris was already a justice of the Court of Appeal, but had to return to the Federal High Court in Lagos, to conclude the case.

    Respite for the Accused

    Respite came for the embattled former governor of Abia State, on Friday, as the apex court, quashed the previous court judgment that convicted and sentenced him to 12 years imprisonment.

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    The Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision by a seven-man panel of Justices led by Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, nullified the entire proceedings that led to Kalu’s conviction.

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    It also ordered the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to re-assign the money laundering charge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC,  for which Kalu, Udeogu and Slok Nigeria Limited are charged to another judge for re-trial.

    The Supreme Court noted since Justice Idris, had left the Federal High Court, he lacked the powers to return to sit as a High Court Judge.

    This judgement followed an appeal Slok Nigeria Limited filed to challenge the jurisdiction of the high court that tried the case and sentenced the defendants.

    Whereas the trial court sentenced Kalu to 12 years imprisonment, Udeogu was handed a 10-year jail term.

    After Court Victory, Kalu Vows to Fight Injustice

    The Vanguard Newspapers report that after the lawmaker’s release from prison he said he would dedicate time to fighting injustice. He said it was wrong to falsely accuse people of murder just to eliminate them.

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    The former governor remarked, his five months imprisonment had been quite profound and that it provided him opportunity to learn about our Nigeria, her people, justice system and the true meaning of love.

    Kalu’s Kinsmen Praise Supreme Court’s judgment

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) spoke with some respondents who described the apex court judgment in very glowing terms.

    For instance, the President-General, Igbere Welfare Union, Elder Uwakwe Okoronkwo, expressed joy over Kalu’s victory and noting that the judiciary remained the only hope for Nigerians.

    Another respondent, President-General, Amankalu Igbere Improvement Union, Chief Ukaegbu Kazi, praised Kalu’s commitment to the liberation of the Igbo people.

    Ukaegbu, a former high school principal, expressed delight Kalu’s victory over injustice would enable him offer a better representation for his constituency at the National Assembly.

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    Bazezew Zerihun
    Bazezew Zerihun
    Bazezew Zerihun is the Founder, CEO & EDITOR IN CHIEF of Awutar. He lives in Bole, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. By profession, he is Blogger, Content Writer, Web Designer, and Developer. If you want to get in touch with him write via: [email protected]


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