Retrial Of Kalu Over Alleged N7.1bn Fraud: EFCC Approaches Appeal Court

Senator Orji Uzor Kalu

Over N7.1 billion allegedly laundered by the former governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, federal government has asked the Court of Appeal to order a fresh trial.

This followed the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, which prohibited the retrial of former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu. The federal government is asking the appellate court to set aside the judgment.

Federal government, through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), also wants the Appeal Court to order Senator Kalu and his company, to submit themselves for retrial, in line with the order of the Supreme Court in its May 8, 2020 judgment, voiding the earlier trial and conviction of Kalu and two others, and ordering a retrial.

The requests were contained in two notices of appeal, filed by a lawyer to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, against the two judgments delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The Federal High Court in Abuja had earlier in September 29 barred the federal government from retrying the former governor on the N7.1 billion money laundering charge which the EFCC earlier preferred against him.

In a judgment delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo, the court held that the Supreme Court did not in the verdict given on May 8, 2020, order the retrial of either Kalu or his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited.

Justice Ekwo held that the Supreme Court only ordered the retrial of former Director of Finance in Abia State, Jones Udeogu, who was the appellant before it.

Kalu was serving a 12-year jail term for N7.1 billion fraud when the Supreme Court, ruling on an appeal by his co-defendant, Ude Udeogu, on May 8, 2020, nullified the proceedings leading to their conviction.

The Supreme Court had ordered a retrial at the Federal High Court.

But Kalu who profited from the ruling to secure release from the Kuje Correctional Centre filed an application before the Federal High Court in Abuja to stop his retrial.

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