orji-kalu-754x500The Supreme Court, yesterday, ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to go ahead with the prosecution of the former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, on a 107-count corruption charge.
The charge borders on the alleged complicity of the erstwhile governor in money laundering and illegal diversion of public funds to the tune of N5.6billion.
Embattled Kalu was alleged to have perpetuated the fraud while he piloted the affairs of Abia State between 1999 and 2007.
Though the anti-graft agency docked him before the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on July 27, 2007, however, for the past eight years, the defendant, through various interlocutory applications, frustrated moves by the prosecution to open its case against him.
The defendant firstly challenged the competence of the charge against him, as well as the jurisdiction of the High Court to hear and determine the case.
Meanwhile, following refusal by the trial court to quash the charge, Kalu, took the case before the Court of Appeal in Abuja.
The appellate court, in a unanimous judgment, upheld the competence of the charge, adding that the high court was constitutionally empowered to exercise jurisdiction on the trial.
Not satisfied with the verdict, Kalu approached the Supreme Court, begging it to set-aside the concurrent findings of the two lower courts.
Orji Kalu, the former governor, through his lawyer Chief Awa Kalu, SAN, pleaded with the five-man panel of Justices of the apex court, headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, to quash the criminal charge against him.
He contended that the EFCC failed to establish a prima-facie nexus linking him to the ingredients of the offence contained in the charge.
It was his contention that the proof of evidence the anti-graft agency adduced against him did not nail him to the commission of any crime.
Nevertheless, the apex court, in a unanimous judgment yesterday, dismissed the appeal, even as it ordered the appellant to go and face his trial before the high court.
The former governor was docked in 2007 before a federal High court in Abuja over allegations bordering on fraud, money laundering and theft.
Justice Suleiman Galadima, who read the lead judgments in both appeals, upheld the concurrent decisions of the Federal High Court, Abuja and the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, which had both earlier dismissed the accused persons’ objection to their trial.
The five-man panel of the apex court directed the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to assign both cases to new judges for hearing.


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  • vic

    THESE SHAMELESS POT BELLY BIG THIEVES AND TREASURY LOOTERS SHOULD BE ROUNDED UP AND SHOT THROUGH THEIR HEADS PERSONALLY BY PRESIDENT BUHARI TO SAVE PRISON EXPENSES.