Supreme Court nullifies Orji Uzor Kalu’s conviction

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The Supreme Court on Friday nullified the conviction of former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu.

TRIBUNEPOINT WEEKLY had reported that Kalu was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment over N7.16 billion fraud by a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on December 5.

Justice Mohammed Idris had convicted Kalu on a 39 count of N7.2 billion fraud and money laundering preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

However, on Friday, the Supreme Court gave a fresh order, stopping the judgment.

The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court will reassign the case for a fresh trial.

Justice Amina Augie who led a seven-man panel of Justices held that the trial Justice, Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court in Lagos acted without jurisdiction.

“Liman was no longer a judge of the Federal High Court as at the time he sat and delivered the judgment that convicted the defendants for allegedly stealing about N7.1 billion from Abia state treasury, his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited and former Director of Finance in Abia State, Jones Udeogu.

According to the judgment, ”Justice Liman, having been elevated to the Court of Appeal before then, lacked the powers to return as a High Court Judge.

“The Fiat that was issued to him by the Court of Appeal President pursuant to section 396(7) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act was unconstitutional.”

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