The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, will on Tuesday, arraign former governor of Abia State and Chief Whip of the Senate, Dr, Orji Uzor Kalu, before the Federal High Court in Abuja. The ex-governor will be docked before trial Justice Inyang Ekwo on money laundering related charges. It will be recalled that Kalu, who piloted 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 stealing about N7.1billion from the state treasury. However, the Supreme Court, in its judgement on May 8, 2020, quashed the conviction and ordered retrial of the Defendants by the EFCC.
In a unanimous decision by a seven-man panel of Justices, the Supreme Court, nullified the entire proceedings that led to 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 at December 5, 2019, the day the former governor and his co-Defendants were found guilty of the money laundering charge against them.