N7.1bn fraud: Court stops Orji Kalu’s retrial
A federal high court in Abuja has restrained the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from retrying Orji Kalu, former governor of Abia state, for N7.1 billion fraud.
Ruling on the matter, Justice Inyang Ekwo said the Supreme Court verdict on the appeal filed by Kalu’s co-accused, Ude Udeogu, did not recommend his retrial.
“He cannot be retried safe with an order of the supreme court,” the judge held.
She also contends that the EFCC cannot proceed on Kalu’s retrial, since the Supreme Court ordered that case file of the co-accused be returned to the chief judge for a reassignment to another judge.
The EFCC had charged Kalu and Udeogu, a former director of finance and accounts with the Abia state government, and Kalu’s company, Slok Nigeria Limited, with stealing N7.1 billion.
Justice Mohammed Idris, a former judge of the high court who tried the matter, found Kalu, Udeogu, and Kalu’s company guilty. He consequently sentenced Kalu to 12 years’ imprisonment and Udeogu,10 years in prison. The judge also directed that Kalu’s company, Slok Nigeria Limited, be wound up and its assets forfeited to the Nigerian government.