The Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday ordered the release of a former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, from prison.
Kalu was imprisoned for 12 years on December 5, 2019, after he was convicted of N7.1bn fraud with his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited and a former Director of Finance at the Abia State Government House, Jones Udeogu.
However, the Supreme Court conviction of Kalu and others on the grounds that the judge who handled the case lacked jurisdiction.
The Supreme Court’s judgment was after an Appeal by Udeogu, contending that the trial judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, concluded the 12-year-old trial and gave judgment after he had been elevated to the Court of Appeal and ceased to be a judge of the Federal High Court.
Our application is brought pursuant to Section 159 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.
This is a fallout of the Supreme Court decision delivered on the 8th of May, Fagbemi said
In response, the prosecuting counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), the anti-graft agency would not, in principle, oppose Fagbemi’s application for Kalu’s release from prison.
But we are also urging the court that the order made by the Supreme Court for trial de novo should be complied with by all parties; so that Your Lordship will give us a date when arraignment will be done.