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N7.1bn Fraud Case: EFCC Applies To Reassign Orji Uzor Kalu

N7.1bn Fraud Case: EFCC Applies To Reassign Orji Uzor Kalu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said it is waiting on the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to reassign the N7.1bn fraud case of a former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu so that his fresh trial ordered by the Supreme Court can start. According to the prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), the anti-graft agency had already applied to the Federal High Court Chief Judge to assign the case to a judge who will now handle it.

Recall that Kalu had been convicted of the N7.1bn fraud last December and sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment.

However, the Supreme Court overruled the conviction and prison sentence on the grounds that Justice Mohammed Idris, who gave the verdict, lacked jurisdiction to preside over the case as he had been elevated to the Court of Appeal and ceased to a judge of the Federal High Court as of when he delivered the judgment.

The Supreme Court ordered that the trial, which took 12 years to finish, should start all over again before another judge.

Consequently, Kalu, who had been in prison custody since December last year when Justice Idris delivered the judgment, regained his freedom recently.

Asked on Tuesday if the EFCC had begun moves for the fresh trial, the prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Jacobs, said an application had been submitted to the Federal High Court Chief Judge and his decision was being awaited.

Jacobs said, “We are not filing new charges. We have applied to the CJ to reassign the case in line with the decision of the Supreme Court. We have yet to see whether it has been assigned.

In the amended 34 counts filed before the court, the EFCC alleged that Kalu diverted N7.1bn from Abia State treasury while he was the state governor between 1999 and 2007.

The anti-graft agency alleged that he “did procure Slok Nigeria Limited – a company solely owned by you and members of your family – to retain in its account, domiciled with the then Inland Bank Plc, Apapa branch, Lagos, an aggregate sum of N7,197,871,208.7 on your behalf.

Source: Efizzy.com.ng

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