29.09.2021 news JUST IN: Court Forbids EFCC From Retrying Orji Kalu

Published 29th Sep, 2021

By Daniel Ojukwu

A federal high court in Abuja has forbidden the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from retrying previously convicted Orji Kalu, a former governor of Abia State, on money laundering charges.

According to a report by TheCable, Inyang Ekwo, while delivering the judgment on Wednesday, held that the Supreme Court in its judgment did not specifically order that Kalu be retried.

“He cannot be retried, safe with an order of the supreme court,” the judge was quoted to have said.

Kalu was, alongside Slok Nigeria Ltd., his company, and Ude Udeogu, a former director of finance and accounts, Abia State Government, prosecuted on 39 counts of fraud involving N7.1 billion, at the Federal High Court in Lagos.

Mohammed Idris, the presiding judge in the case, sentenced Kalu to 12 years imprisonment, while Udeogu bagged 10 years. Slok Nigeria Ltd. was ordered to be wound up and forfeited to the federal government.

Apart from the N7.1 billion he was accused of laundering, the ex-governor and the other defendants were accused of receiving a total of N460 million allegedly stolen from the Abia State Government’s treasury between July and December 2002.

However, Kalu’s conviction was, on May 8, 2020, declared null and void by a seven-man supreme court panel led by Justice Ejembi Eko.

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Justice Eko explained that the declaration was on the grounds that Justice Mohammed Idris was already a justice of the court of appeal 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.

Kalu was released in June, five months into his sentence.

Published 29th Sep, 2021

By Daniel Ojukwu


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