The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has reacted to Friday’s judgment of the Supreme Court, which voided the conviction of former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu over an alleged N7.1 billion fraud.
The apex court nullified the judgement on Friday on the basis that the Federal High Court in Lagos acted without jurisdiction when it convicted Kalu, his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited and former Director of Finance in Abia State, Jones Udeogu. Kalu and Udeogu had been sentenced to 12 years in jail by the federal high court before the apex court nullified their convictions.
But the EFCC in a statement on Friday described the judgment of the apex court as unfortunate. The anti-graft agency further said the senator and his Co defendant will face immediate retrial for money laundering.
See the full statement below:
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.