Court of Appeal Rejects Federal Government’s Bid to Retry Orji Uzor Kalu in N7.6B Fraud Case


The Court of Appeal in Abuja has dismissed the Federal Government’s attempt to initiate fresh prosecution against former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, in the N7.6 billion fraud and money laundering case.

Justice Joseph Oyewole, delivering the judgment, emphasized that the record of appeal presented by the federal government was deemed incompetent and unreliable for court consideration.

He pointed out that the record was not properly compiled, signed, or certified according to legal requirements.

The case stems from a Federal High Court’s decision on December 5, 2019, which sentenced Kalu, now a senator representing Abia North, to 12 years in prison for embezzling funds from the Abia State Treasury during his tenure as governor.

However, the Supreme Court later overturned this judgment, citing a procedural error, as the presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, was already elevated to the Court of Appeal at the time of the ruling.

Justice Ejembi Ekwo’s Supreme Court ruling mandated a fresh trial under a different judge, prompting Kalu to obtain an order from the Federal High Court prohibiting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from initiating a new prosecution against him.

Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo, who issued the prohibition order, highlighted that Kalu’s name was not explicitly mentioned in the Supreme Court’s judgment.

Despite the Federal Government’s appeal against the High Court’s decision, it was dismissed due to the failure to produce adequate records of the proceedings.

The Court of Appeal’s rejection of the Federal Government’s bid signifies a setback in its efforts to retry Kalu in the long-standing corruption case.

This legal saga underscores the complexities and intricacies involved in prosecuting high-profile cases, particularly when procedural errors come into play.


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