Alleged N7.2bn Fraud: Not Yet Uhuru For Senator Orji Uzor Kalu

LAGOS MAY 11TH (NEWSRANGERS)-The Nigerian supreme court, Friday, gave a landmark ‘ruling’ in the case brought before it by the former Governor of Abia state and serving senator representing the good people of Abia North, Senator Orji Kalu, protesting his conviction and subsequent conviction by the high court.

This incident happened exactly Twelve years after he rounded off his term as a governor of Abia State.

The senator was convicted and sentenced by a Federal High Court in Lagos, to 12 years imprisonment over fraud cases totaling about N7.2 billion.

A firm belonging to the former governor, Slok Nigeria Limited was ordered to be wound up with its assets forfeited to the FG while his Director of finance and accounts, Jones Udeogu, was not spared the gavel of the judge who slammed charges and also convicted him with a 10 years imprisonment.

Out of the 39 counts filed, Senator Kalu was named in the entire 28 counts. 

On each of counts one to 11 and 39, he bagged five years imprisonment; on the counts 23-33, he bagged three years imprisonment; and on each of counts 34-38, he bagged 12 years imprisonment. 

The judge ordered the sentences would run concurrently, meaning that Kalu will spend 12 years in jail.

The judge, Muhammed Idris said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt, and according to him “I sincerely cannot find my way clear in finding these defendants not guilty of the offenses charged.”

The judge praised the investigation and steps that lead to the charge and subsequent conviction, as in-depth and conclusive stressing: “No gaps were left unfilled”.

He further described it as the acceptable standard. 

With all these, one wonders why all of a sudden, the senator was set free and released from prison custody. The ignorant ones have gone all out to roll out drums of victory and praise the Senator for being blameless and innocent.

Recall The apex court, in a unanimous decision given by a seven-man panel of Justices which was ably led by the Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, nullified the entire proceedings that led to Sen Kalu’s conviction.

Not ending there, the court also ordered the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to re-assign the fraud/money laundering case against the senator and two others brought to it by the EFCC, to another Judge for a re-trial

Taking a look at the incidents that led to the release of the senator, we see that clearly, the senator was NOT pronounced innocent nor was he discharged and acquitted instead the case was ordered to be reassigned and for a retrial to be done.

According to the judgment which set the senator free, we recall the Supreme Court had held that the High Court Judge that led the trial and gave the conviction, Justice Mohammed Idris, acted without jurisdiction when he convicted Kalu, his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited and a former Director of Finance in Abia State, Jones Udeogu.

The apex court noted that Justice Idris had ceased to be a judge of the Federal High Court as of December 5, 2019, which was the same time and date he delivered the judgment that led to the conviction of the defendants for allegedly stealing about N7.1billion.

According to the Supreme Court, since the Judge had been elevated to the Court of Appeal before then, he automatically lacked the powers to return to sit and give verdicts as a High Court Judge.

Having seen clearly the incidents that led to the release of Sen. Orji from prison, it is quite ok to say he remains a suspect until the court of law further pronounces him innocent.

For now, the EFCC has gone back to get its house in order and launch a retrial, the court has also maybe, reassigned the case to a competent judge who will start all afresh with the case.

It is not yet Uhuru for the former senator and as we all know and are aware, the fight against corruption in Nigeria is always bought by the highest bidder, the courts should as well use this case to let Nigerians know that the insinuation is wrong by convicting every thief of our commonwealth and if they are innocent should also set them free.

Opera News

Please follow and like us:

Short URL: http://www.newsrangers.com/?p=48919

Posted by on May 11 2020. Filed under Features, National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

News Rangers TV

Recent Gallery Slideshow

Follow me on Twitter

Photo Gallery

Designed by Nate Otaba