Alleged N5b Fraud: You Have A Case To Answer, S’ Court Tells Kalu | Nigeria Today
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Alleged N5b Fraud: You Have A Case To Answer, S’ Court Tells Kalu

The Supreme Court yesterday told former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu that he has a case to answer in the alleged N5b fraud.

Shortly after the court deliver it verdict in his appeal, challenging the powers of the court to try him, the former governor expressed his readiness to face his trial and prove his innocence on the 107-count corruption charges brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The Supreme Court, Friday dismissed his appeal and ordered the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta to assign the case for expeditious trial.

But the ex- Governor in responding to the judgment maintained his innocence saying he was ready to go to court and face trial.
Justice Suleiman Galadima who wrote the lead judgment that was delivered by Justice Sylvester Nwuta held that Kalu’s appeal lacked merit.

In addition, the apex court held that the ex-parte order of the Abia State High court relied upon by Kalu in asking the to quash the charge against him cannot stand.

The charge specifically borders on the alleged complicity of the erstwhile governor in money laundering and illegal diversion of public funds to the tune of N5.6billion.

According to the charge, the ex- Governor was alleged to have committed  the fraud while in office between 1999 and 2007.
He was arraigned by the EFCC before a Federal High Court in Abuja on July 27, 2007 where he entered a plead of not guilty in all the charges.

The defendant firstly challenged the competence of the charge against him, as well as the jurisdiction of the High Court to hear and determine the case.

The former governor took his case to the Appeal court following the refusal by
the trial court to quash the charge, but the court also turned his request down.

The appellate court, in a unanimous judgment, upheld the competence of the charge, adding that the high court was constitutionally empowered to exercise jurisdiction on the trial.
Dissatisfied with the verdict, Kalu approached the Supreme Court, begging it to set-aside the concurrent findings of the two lower courts.

The former governor, through his lawyer Chief Awa Kalu, SAN, pleaded a five-man panel of Justices of the apex court, headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, to quash the criminal charge against him. He contended that the EFCC failed to establish a prima-facie nexus linking him to the ingredients of the offence contained in the charge. It was his contention that the proof of evidence the anti-graft agency adduced against him did not nail him to the commission of any crime.

Nevertheless, the apex court, in a unanimous judgment on Friday, dismissed the appeal.

The post Alleged N5b Fraud: You Have A Case To Answer, S’ Court Tells Kalu appeared first on Nigerian News from Leadership News.

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This post was syndicated from Nigerian News from Leadership News. Click here to read the full text on the original website.

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