FG Loses Bid Resurrects Orji Uzor Kalu’s N7.6bn Case at Appeal Court

March 6, 2024
Orji Uzor Kalu

By Adedapo Adesanya 

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has struck out the bid to re-commence a fresh prosecution against former Abia State Governor, Mr Orji Uzor Kalu, in the N7.6 billion fraud and money laundering brought against him by the federal government.

Delivering the judgement, Justice Joseph Oyewole held that the record of the appeal brought by the federal government was incompetent and unreliable for any court to grant the request of the prosecuting party.

Justice Oyewole said that the record of appeal was not compiled, signed, and certified by any person known to the law, adding that the name of the person who compiled, signed, and certified the record was not reflected as required by law.

For context, a Federal High Court had on December 5, 2019, jailed the former governor now a senator representing Abia North for 12 years for stealing the huge sums from the Treasury of Abia State while he was Governor of Abia State.

The judgment of the High Court was, however, voided and set aside by the Supreme Court on the ground that Justice Mohammed Idris who delivered it was already a Justice of the Court of Appeal having been elevated.

The Supreme Court judgment delivered by Justice Ejembi Ekwo held that Justice Mohammed Idris cannot operate as a Federal High Judge and Justice of the Court of Appeal at the same.

He subsequently ordered the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to give the trial to another Judge for a fresh trial.

Mr Kalu, however, went back to the Federal High Court and obtained an order prohibiting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from initiating a fresh prosecution of the former Abia governor.

Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo who issued the prohibition order against the anti-graft agency said the former governor was not expressly stated in the judgment of the Supreme Court.

The federal government’s appeal against the decision of the High Court was dismissed for the failure to produce proper records of proceedings of the High Court.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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