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Supreme Court Orders EFCC To Prosecute Orji Uzor Kalu For Looting N5.6bn

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The Supreme Court, Friday, gave the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the nod to prosecute the former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu on a 107-count corruption charge.

The charge borders on the alleged complicity of the erstwhile governor in money laundering and illegal diversion of public funds to the tune of N5.6billion.Kalu was alleged to have perpetuated the fraud while he piloted the affairs of Abia State between 1999 and 2007.

Though the anti-graft agency docked him before the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on July 27, 2007, however, for the past eight years, the defendant, through various interlocutory applications, frustrated moves by the prosecution to open its case against him.

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, 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, even as it ordered the appellant to go and face his trial before the high court.

 

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