The EFCC has described the judgement of the Supreme court nullifying the 12-year conviction of former Abia state governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, as unfortunate and a technical ambush against his trial.
The antigraft agency had dragged Kalu and one Ude Udeogo, before the Federal High Court in Lagos over allegation of diverting N7.6 billion belonging to the Abia state government during Kalu’s time in office. Udeogo was Kalu’s Director of Finance and Accounts while in office.
Kalu and Udeogo were on December 5th 2019 found guilty and sentenced to 12 and 10 years imprisonment respectively.
Reacting to the nullification of the order by the Supreme court, EFCC in a statement said the corruption charges against Kalu subsist and it will begin fresh trial of the former governor and Udeogo.
Read the statement below
Orji Kalu: EFCC SET FOR FRESH, IMMEDIATE RE-TRIAL
The attention of the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been drawn to the judgment of the Supreme Court nullifying the trial of a former governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu , his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited and Jones Udeogu, a former Director of Finance and Account of Abia State Government and ordering their fresh trial at the lower court.
The apex court based its verdict on the grounds that Justice Mohammed Idris, who convicted Kalu and others had been elevated to the Court of Appeal before the judgment and returned to the lower court to deliver the judgment which it considered as illegal.
The EFCC considers the judgment of the apex court as quite unfortunate . It is a technical ambush against the trial of the former governor. The Commission is prepared for a fresh and immediate trial of the case because its evidences against Kalu and others are overwhelming.
The corruption charges against Kalu still subsist because the Supreme Court did not acquit him of them. The entire prosecutorial machinery of the EFCC would be launched in a fresh trial where justice is bound to be served in due course.