Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday, fixed May 16 for the re-arraignment of a former Governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, and his co-accused for charges bordering on alleged diversion of N5.6 billion belonging to the state.
This followed a Supreme Court’s judgment delivered on March 18, dismissing the accused persons’ objection to the charges preferred against them and directing them to submit themselves for trial.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had in 2007 preferred 96 counts including money laundering against Kalu, his company, Slok Nigeria Limited, and Jones Udeogo.
Kalu and his co-defendants were accused of diverting the state’s fund while he was governor of Abia State between 1999 and 2007.
The anti-graft agency on February 11, 2008 amended the charges and presented 112 counts against them.
Their objection to the charges were dismissed by the court, the Court of Appeal and finally by the Supreme Court on March 18.
Kalu and Udeogo, who were represented by different lawyers, were present in court yesterday.
The Prosecuting Counsel, Mr. Oluwaleke Atolagbe, who passed a copy of the Supreme Court’s judgment validating the trial to the judge, Justice Anwuri Chikere, during yesterday’s proceedings, said the prosecution needed time to take some steps before the re-arraignment.
Atolagbe said, “This matter is slated for mention. On March 18, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeals by the defendant. I will urge my lord to adjourn the case to afford the prosecution some time to take some steps. We will need about two weeks. We seek an adjournment for the defendants to take their plea.”
Counsel for Kalu, Chief Awa Kalu, SAN, and the lawyer representing Udeogo and Slok Nigeria Ltd, Chief Solomon Akama. SAN, did not oppose the request for adjournment.
The judge then fixed May 16 for their re-arraignment.


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