By Ndu Samuel, Asaba
The Economic and Financial crimes Commission, EFCC have reacted to Friday supreme Court judgement that voided the conviction of former Abia State governor Orji Uzor Kalu, describing it as a technical ambush against the trial of the ex governor
According to information obtained by The Liberator Newspaper from the official Facebook page of the Commission, they have vowed to deploy all their prosecutionary arsenals to ensure that the former governor is retried immediately.
The information on the Commission page reads “The attention of the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been drawn to the judgment of the Supreme Court nullifying the trial of a former governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu , his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited and Jones Udeogu, a former Director of Finance and Account of Abia State Government and ordering their fresh trial at the lower court.”
“The apex court based its verdict on the grounds 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.”
“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.”
Recall that The Liberator Newspaper has earlier reported that Nigeria’s Apex court, the Supreme court has quashed the criminal conviction of former Abia state governor and serving senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
The court on Friday in a unanimous decision by a five justices panel headed by justice Amina Augie held that the Federal high court that convicted Kalu lacked jurisdiction to do so
It held that the trial judge, Mohammed Liman was no longer a judge of the Federal high court as at the time he sat and delivered judgement that convicted the senator.
Liman had convicted Kalu, his firm slok Nigeria Limited and former Director of Finance in Abia State Jones Udeogu for allegedly steal about 7.1 billion from Abia State treasury