Orji Kalu to appear in court over alleged fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is set to arraign Orji Kalu, former governor of Abia state, before a federal high court in Abuja on charges of alleged fraud.

The arraignment of the former governor is fixed for Tuesday, February 2, before Inyang Ekwo, a federal high court judge.

Kalu who is currently the chief whip of the senate was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment in December 2019 after he was convicted for diverting N7.1 billion from the coffers of Abia state during his time as governor.

The EFCC had preferred a 36-count charge against him and Ude Jones Udeogu, a former director of finance and account in Abia.

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Udeogu was also convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Displeased with the judgement, Udeogu had filed an appeal to challenge the conviction.

His lawyers argued that Mohammed Idris, the judge who handed down the ruling, lacked the jurisdiction to hear the case because he had been elevated to the appeal court at the time he sentenced them to prison

On May 8, 2020, the apex court, in a unanimous verdict on the appeal delivered by Ejembi Eko, declared that the conviction of the appellant was null and void.

The supreme court nullified the trial on the grounds that Mohammed Idris, the trial judge, had no jurisdiction to hear the matter after he was elevated to the court of appeal.

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The apex court ordered that the case be issued to another judge for a fresh

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