EFCC rejects nullification Kalu conviction, insists there are overwhelming evidence

May 8, 2020
33 Views

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday rejected the nullification of the conviction of Senator Uzor Orii Kalu by the Supreme Court. Although, the Supreme Court returned the case to the Federal high Court for re-trial, the EFCC protested that there are overwhelming evidence to justify the conviction of the former Governor of Abia State.

The Supreme Court had on Friday upturned the conviction of Orji Kalu by the Federal High Court which was upheld by the Court of Appeal.

A seven-man panel of the Supreme Court also set aside the judgment which convicted Ude Udeogu, a former Director of Finance and Account at the Abia State Government House.

They were convicted of corruption allegations brought against them by the EFCC.

Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos had sentenced Senator Kalu to 12 years imprisonment in December 2019.

He had also sentenced Udeogu to 10 years imprisonment on the same day.

Kalu and Udeogu filed an appeal to challenge their sentencing at the Supreme Court.

The Court, in a unanimous judgment read  by Justice Ejembi Eko, declared that the conviction of the appellants was null and void.

Justice Eko explained that the declaration was on the ground that Justice Mohammed Idris was already a Justice of the Court of Appeal, as at the time he delivered the judgment sentencing the appellants.

He held that a Justice of the Court of Appeal cannot operate as a judge of the Federal High Court.

The apex court, therefore, ordered the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to reassign the case for trial.

The Federal High Court had sentenced Senator Kalu on December 5, 2019, after finding him guilty of fraud to the tune of N7.56 billion.

The assets of Slok Nigeria Limited, his company, were also forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Similarly, the court sentenced Udeogu in an amended 39-count.

The EFCC indicated preparedness to meet Orji Kalu again at the Federal High Court.

 

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