EFCC seeks transfer of Orji Kalu case to Lagos

the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)on Thursday, he applied to the Abuja Federal High Court to transfer the case related to the 7.1 billion naira fraud allegedly perpetrated during the tenure of orji kalu as governor of the state of Abia, to his division of Lagos. Mr. Kalu, a sitting senator representing Abia North, was tried together with his company, Slok Nigeria Limited, and Udeh Udeogu, Director of Finance and Accounts at Abia State Government House during Mr. Kalu as governor. In December 2019, they were convicted of diverting 7.1 billion naira from Abia state coffers. Mr. Kalu was already serving a 12-year prison sentence for the crimes when the Supreme Court, in May 2020, annulled the proceedings that led to his and his co-defendants’ convictions. His co-defendant, Udeh Udeogu, was also jailed for 10 years at the end of the trial and Slok, Mr. Kalu’s firm, was ordered liquidated. Although the High Court ordered the defendants to be retried, Inyang Ekwo, the judge to whom the case was reassigned at the Abuja Federal High Court, controversially barred the EFCC from retrying Mr. Kalu in a ruling issued in September 2021. Mr. Ekwo, who also exempted Mr. Kalu’s firm, Slok Nigeria Limited, from the retrial, had ordered the EFCC to proceed only against Mr. Udeogu. Thursday hearing At the resumption of the hearing of the case on Thursday, the EFCC, through his lawyer, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, requested the transfer of the trial to the Lagos court division. Mr. Atolagbe cited sections 18, 19, 22 and 45 of the Federal High Court Act 2010 and section 93 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015. The judge, Mr. Ekwo, said that he would not take the application in view of the upcoming Easter holidays. The judge adjourned until May 17. In the proceedings, Awa Kalu, a Senior Lawyer for Nigeria (SAN), represented Mr. Kalu, while Solo Akuma (SAN) replaced Mr. Udeogu, and Goddy Uche (SAN), was the lawyer for Slok Nigeria Limited. Reasons for requesting the transfer The EFCC, in its application, raised five grounds for requesting the transfer of the case to the Lagos court division. One of the reasons is that the court’s Abuja division lacks the required territorial jurisdiction to entertain and try the accused in respect of the charges. The anti-corruption agency recalled that the charges were originally filed in the Abuja Federal High Court in 2007. The defendants were also said to have filed an application to challenge the jurisdiction of the charges. Mr. Atolagbe said that following the Supreme Court’s decision that many of the ingredients of the crimes occurred in Lagos and that most of the proposed prosecution witnesses resided in Lagos, the EFCC asked the chief justice of the Supreme Court Federal to transfer the matter. to Lagos. Satisfied that many of the ingredients of the crimes occurred in Lagos, Mr. Atolagbe said, the chief judge transferred the case to the Lagos division of the court where the defendants were tried and sentence was passed on the matter. Therefore, he asked Mr. Ekwo to issue an order transferring the trial to Lagos in compliance with the Supreme Court’s order for a new trial. Read More Related News Here Let here it in the comment below if you do have an opinion on this; EFCC seeks transfer of Orji Kalu case to Lagos