SUPREME COURT ORDERS RETRIAL OF THE FORMER GOVERNOR OF ABIA STATE
There has been an ongoing fraud case against the former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, who was convicted of the corruption allegations levelled against him to the tune of N7.56 billion by the Federal High Court.
The case was taken on appeal further to the Supreme Court of Nigeria where it was established that the Justice who pronounced the judgement on the former Abia State Governor was already a Justice of the Court of Appeal. Supreme Court therefore held that a Justice of the Court of Appeal cannot at the same time operate as a Justice of the Federal High Court. Thus, an order of retrial was given by the seven-man panel of judges at the Supreme Court and the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court was ordered to reassign the matter.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had reacted to the Supreme Court’s verdict in a statement by Dele Oyewale, the Head of Media and Publicity, as he stated that the former Abia State Governor has not been released and therefore, the body will make further steps to re-try the matter before another judge because of the overwhelming evidence against the former Governor and his aide.
He also said “the EFCC considers the judgment of the apex court as quite unfortunate. It is a technical ambush against the trial of the former governor.
“The Commission is prepared for a fresh and immediate trial of the case because its evidences against Kalu and others are overwhelming.
“The corruption charges against Kalu still subsist because the Supreme Court did not acquit him of them. The entire prosecutorial machinery of the EFCC would be launched in a fresh trial where justice is bound to be served in due course.”