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Lagos, NG
4th October 2022

Court Orders The Release Of Senator Orji Kalu 

Kalu Returns To The Senate After Leaving Kuje Correctional Centre
Kalu Returns To The Senate After Leaving Kuje Correctional Centre

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the release of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu from the Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja.

Justice Mohammed Liman ordered Senator Kalu’s release on Tuesday morning after listening to an application filed by the former governor.

Senator Kalu, a two-term former governor of Abia State, had urged the court to set aside his conviction on December 5, 2019, by Justice Mohammed Idris.

He explained that this became necessary since the Supreme Court, in its verdict delivered on May 8, 2020, held that Justice Idris gave the judgment without jurisdiction.

he Supreme Court quashed the judgement that convicted and sentenced the Ex-Abia State governor, Orji Uzor-Kalu to 12 years imprisonment.

In a unanimous judgement by a seven-man panel, led by Justice Amina Augie, the Supreme Court held that the Federal High Court in Lagos, which tried and convicted the Ex-Abia State Governor, Orji Kalu, his firm – Slok Nigeria Limited and his former aide, Jones Udeogu, acted without jurisdiction.

The Supreme Court then proceeded to set aside the judgement that convicted the defendants and ordered a fresh trial of the defendants by another judge.

The Court was of the view that Justice Mohammed Idris, who conducted the trial, was no longer a judge of the Federal High Court as at the time he sat and delivered the judgement that convicted the defendants for allegedly stealing about N7.1billion from Abia state treasury.

The Supreme Court added that Justice Idris, having been elevated to the Court of Appeal before then, lacked the powers to return to sit as a High Court Judge.

The Court said the fiat that was issued to Justice Idris by the Court of Appeal President, pursuant to Section 396(7) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act was unconstitutional.

‎A Federal High Court in Lagos ‎ had on December 5, 2019, sentenced Ex-Abia State Governor Orji Kalu, to 12 years’ imprisonment for N7.2 billion fraud and money laundering. 

The court convicted Kalu, now a senator, on all the 39 counts preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission charge. Kalu was charged alongside a former Commissioner for Finance, in the state Jones Udeogo, and his company, Slok Nig. Ltd. 

While Kalu and his company were found guilty of all the 39 counts, Udeogo was convicted on 34 counts and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment.

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