Supreme Court Reverses Orji Uzor Kalu’s 12-year Sentence

Supreme Court Reverses Orji Uzor Kalu's 12-year Sentence

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Supreme Court Reverses Orji Uzor Kalu’s 12-year Sentence
The Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of a former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, on Friday, May 8, 2020.

Supreme Court Reverses Orji Uzor Kalu’s 12-year Sentence

Supreme Court Reverses Orji Uzor Kalu’s 12-year Sentence

The Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of a former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, on Friday, May 8, 2020.

Kalu was convicted by the Federal High Court in Lagos in December 2019 after he was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for conspiring and diverting N7.65 billion from the state’s treasury when he was governor between 1999 and 2007.

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Justice Mohammed Idris, who declared him guilty of the 39 counts charge, sentenced him to 12 years in prison.

However, the Supreme Court overruled the conviction on Friday because Idris was no longer a judge of the Federal High Court when he delivered the judgement.

Supreme Court Reverses Orji Uzor Kalu’s  Sentence

Idris had been elevated to the Court of Appeal before the sentencing, but a fiat was issued to him by the Court of Appeal President, pursuant to section 396(7) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, to deliver the judgement.

The seven-member panel of the Supreme Court ruled the fiat to be unconstitutional on Friday, noting that Idris lacked the powers to return to sit as a High Court Judge after his elevation.

The court therefore vacated the judgement and ordered a fresh trial of Kalu, currently a senator.

He was charged alongside his company, Slok Nigeria Limited, and Udeh Udeogu, who was Director of Finance and Accounts at the Abia State Government House.

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