N7.1 billion Fraud: EFCC Seeks Transfer Of Ex-Governor Orji Kalu’s Trial From Abuja To Lagos

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File picture According to a report by SaharaReporters, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC on Thursday asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to move to its Lagos division, the fresh trial of former Abia State Governor, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu and two others in an alleged N7.1 billion fraud.

The movement on notice seeking the transfer was brought pursuant to areas 18, 19, 22 and 45 of the Federal High Court Act 2010 and section 93 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.

The movement prayed for an order of the Federal High Court in Abuja, moving the case with charge number FHC/ABJ/CR/ 56/2007 in between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Orji Uzor Kalu and 2 others to the Lagos department of the court.

2 others on the movement paper are Jones Udeogo and Sloks Nigeria Limited, an alleged family business of Senator Kalu.

Oluwaleke Atolagbe, counsel to EFCC stated the movement was predicated on 5 grounds amongst which are that the Abuja department of the Federal High Court did not have the requisite territorial jurisdiction to entertain and attempt the offenders in the instant charge.

Another ground for looking for transfer of the trial was that the charge was preferred against Orji Uzor Kalu, Slok Nigeria Limited and Ude Jones Udeogu at the Federal High Court Abuja at some point in number 2007 by the EFCC, following an investigation by the commission.

The motion even more suggested that after taking their plea, the offender brought an application challenging the proficiency of the charge and contending that there was no prima facie case against them.

It was also contended that following the decision of the Supreme Court that a number of the active ingredients of the offences against them occurred in Lagos and even the majority of the witnesses who are bank workers live in Lagos, the EFCC used to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to move the matter to Lagos.

Satisfied that much of the ingredients of the offenses occurred in Lagos the Chief Judge moved the case to the Lagos department of the court where the offenders were prosecuted and judgment delivered in the matter.

He, therefore, asked Justice Ekwo to provide an order transferring the trial to Lagos in compliance with the Supreme Court order.

When the matter came on Thursday, Justice Inyang Ekwo stated that he would not be able to take the application in view of the approaching Easter holidays.

The judge as a result repaired May 17, 2022 for determination of the application.

At the procedures, Prof. Awa Kalu SAN represented previous governor Kalu, Mr Solo Akuma SAN stood for Jones Udeogu while Goddy Uche SAN, meant Slok Nigeria Limited.

ToriNG