Corruption: Court Says Orji Kalu Has Case To Answer In N7.2Bn Case

Corruption: Court Says Orji Kalu Has Case To Answer In N7.2Bn Case
Orji Uzor Kalu has a case to answer
Orji Uzor Kalu has a case to answer

The former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu has lost his bid to stop his N7.2 billion corruption case at a Federal High Court in Lagos.
Kalu who is now a staunch member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has filed a no-case application at the court in a bid to stop his trial.
The former governor has been standing trial since he left office in 2007 for allegedly misappropriating N7.6 billion belonging to the state.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had filed a 39-count charge against Kalu and his company, Slok Nigeria Limited and Ude Udeogu, who served under him as the Director of Finance and Accounts at the Abia State Government House.
In his ruling, Justice Mohammed Idris said Kalu had some explanations to make particularly on certain documents tendered by the EFCC as exhibits in the evidence against him.
The EFCC had first arraigned Kalu in 2007 but the former governor challenged the charges at the Court of Appeal and later at the Supreme Court and lost, the apex court asked the High Court to continue the trial.
At the conclusion of the prosecution’s case, however, the defendants filed a no-case submission, arguing that the EFCC failed to link them to any crime, urging Justice Idris to dismiss the charges and set them free.
The judge, however, disagreed with them in the ruling, holding that they have explanations to make as to the fraud allegations pressed against them.
While dismissing the application, Justice Idris held:
“The prosecution called 19 witnesses and tendered a number of exhibits which have been thoroughly examined.
Going through the evidence of these witnesses, it appears to me that if taken as unchallenged and uncontroverted, some links might be established between the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants and some of the alleged offences in the light of Exhibits B1-B18; in the light of Exhibit D34; in the light of Exhibits D51-D68; in the light of Exhibits A58-F93; in the light of Exhibit H; in the light of Exhibit J2; in the light of Exhibit L; in the light of Exhibits N1-N15; in the of Exhibits P33-P34; in the light of Exhibits Q1-Q30; in the light of Exhibits T, H and U.
I will stop there and I will say no more. I am of the view that the defendants have some explanations to make in the light of the exhibits and the evidence so far led. Again, I will say no more. The no-case submission is dismissed.”
Kalu’s lawyer, Gordy Uche (SAN), however, pleaded with the judge for a six-week adjournment to enable Kalu to go for a surgical operation.
“The first defendant has a medical appointment for surgery and the lead counsel in this matter had actually written a letter he wants us to bring to the attention of Your Lordship with respect to the surgery,” Uche said.
He pleaded with the judge to adjourn the case till September 10, 2018, and in a short ruling, Justice Idris said he was constrained to grant Uche’s request, and adjourned the case till September 10 for the defendants to open their defence.

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