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Supreme Court judgement on Orji Kalu unfortunate – EFCC

*Set to re-arraign the senator

By Emma Okereh

The Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is dissatisfied with the judgment of the Supreme Court quashing the conviction of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu on technical ground, describing the verdict as “unfortunate”.

The anti-graft commission had dragged the former governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu; his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited and Mr. Jones Udeogu, a former Director of Finance and Account of the Abia State Government to court over embezzlement.

The apex court in reviewing the judgement of the Federal High Court which in Lagos convicted him, said the presiding justice had been elevated to the Appeal Court at the time he delivered the judgment and furthered as inconsequential the fiat granted him by the President of the Court of Appeal to deliver judgment and therefore, ordered Kali and other defendants’ fresh trial at the lower court.

The apex court said that Justice Mohammed Idris, who convicted Kalu and others had been elevated to the Court of Appeal before the judgment and returned to the lower court to deliver the judgment which it considered as illegal.

However, according to a statement by the head of Media at EFCC, Dele Oyewole, the commission “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”.

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