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Alleged Fraud: EFCC To Arraign Kalu 8 Months After S’Court Ordered Retrial

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is set to arraign the Chief Whip of the Nigerian Senate, Orji Kalu, before a Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Kalu, a former governor of Abia State, is expected to be arraigned on charges of fraud.

Kalu’s arraignment has been fixed for Tuesday, February 2, before a federal high court judge, Inyang Ekwo.

Recall that the former governor was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment in December 2019 after he was convicted for diverting N7.1 billion from the coffers of Abia State during his time as governor.

The EFCC had preferred a 36-count charge against him and a former Director of Finance and Account in Abia, Ude Jones Udeogu.

Udeogu was also convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Dissatisfied with the judgement, Udeogu appealed the conviction.

His lawyers argued that Mohammed Idris, the judge who convicted him, lacked the jurisdiction to hear the case because he had been elevated to the appeal court at the time he sentenced them to prison.

On May 8, 2020, the Supreme Court in a unanimous verdict on the appeal declared that the conviction of the appellant was null and void.

The apex court nullified the trial on the grounds that the trial judge had no jurisdiction to hear the matter after he was elevated to the court of appeal.

It thereafter ordered that the case be issued to another judge for a fresh trial.

The judgement affected Udeogu’s co-defendant, Kalu, who was released from prison.

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