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EFCC Asks Abuja Court To Transfer Orji Kalu’s Case To Lagos

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is seeking the transfer of Orji Kalu’s case file from the Abuja division of the Federal High Court to the one in Lagos State.

At the court session, Chile Okoroma, counsel for the EFCC, informed the court of a pending letter before the Chief Judge asking for the transfer of the case to Lagos.

Okoroma said the Chief Judge is yet to respond to the letter which was written in line with the judgment of the Supreme Court ordering the prosecution to try Senator Kalu afresh

Okoroma said none of the offences committed by Kalu took place in Abuja and that the Supreme Court has held that the case cannot be heard in the FCT.

He asked the court to adjourn the matter pending a reply from the chief judge.

Although the Prosecution was unavailable for comments, the lawyer to Senator Kalu insists that the proper place for the trial of his client is Umuahia, Abia State capital where the offences were allegedly committed

Ruling on the application, Justice Ekwo held: “Even without your application, the matter cannot go on.”

“But I cannot adjourn the matter sine die. There must be a specific date for the report,” he said.

The judge then adjourned the case till June 7.

Kalu who is the current Chief Whip of the Senate and former governor of Abia state was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment in December 2019 after he was convicted of diverting N7.1 billion from the coffers of Abia State government for personal use.

The trial court convicted him alongside his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited, and a former director of finance in Abia State, Jones Udeogu, for allegedly diverting about N7.1billion from the state treasury to personal use.

However, the Supreme Court, in a judgement delivered on May 8th, 2020 nullified the entire proceedings that led to Senator 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 a judgement against the defendants.

It noted that Justice Idris was no longer a judge of the Federal High Court as of December 5, 2019, the day the former governor and his co-defendants were found guilty of the money laundering charge against them.

The apex court ordered a retrial of the defendants.

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