BY EMEKA EJERE
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will on Tuesday, arraign former Abia State and Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu, before the Federal High Court in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Sen. Kalu will be arraigned before Justice Inyang Ekwo on money laundering related charges.
The former governor, who piloted the affairs of Abia State from 1999 to 2007, was earlier found guilty and handed a 12-year jail term by the Lagos division of the court.
The trial court convicted him alongside his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited, and a former director of finance in Abia State, Jones Udeogu, for allegedly diverting about N7.1billion from the state treasury to personal use.
However, in a unanimous judgment by a seven-man panel of the Supreme Court, delivered on May 8th, 2020, the Apex Court nullified the entire proceedings that led to Senator Kalu’s conviction, stressing that the trial judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, was already elevated to the court of appeal, as at the time he sat and delivered judgement against the defendants.
It noted that Justice Idris was no longer a judge of the Federal High Court as of December 5, 2019, the day the former governor and his co-defendants were found guilty of the money laundering charge against them.
The apex court ordered a retrial of the defendants.