Buhari Is A Democrat- Orji Kalu

Dr. Orji Kalu, former Governor of Abia State said, “President Buhari wants every interested aspirant to be given a chance to test their popularity and exercise their democratic right, as a democrat.

He revealed President Muhammadu Buhari is not interested in an automatic ticket to contest in the 2019 presidential election.

Kalu, who spoke with journalists at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, on Saturday, said the President wanted the APC to explore necessary democratic process by allowing other candidates to contest the party’s presidential primary election.

“Buhari is not even looking for an automatic ticket. He is a man that is very fair in what he does. His feeling is that if anyone wants to contest against him, such a person should come out at the Eagle Square.

“Some schools of thought are saying that if in the United States’ Obama was given an automatic ticket, Buhari should be given that too. But he feels that an automatic ticket for him is not right. He said they should open the floor for other people who also want to contest.”

He added, “There will be no rancour in the party. We are in a democracy and I will vote for the President; we are not afraid of anybody who wants to contest against him. I’ve said it times without number that the President needs to consolidate on his achievements and most of his tenure has been besieged by illness.”

The former Abia State governor also stated that following his support for the last governorship election in Anambra State, Buhari’s popularity was growing in the South-East.

He added, “I’m just coming in from the South-East where President Buhari is making a lot of inroads. The role he played during the Anambra election was significant; other presidents would have written the results. They have done it before. If it were other presidents, APC would be jubilating.

Commenting on Atiku Abubakar’s recent resignation from the APC, Kalu said he would have advised him to stay back if he had the opportunity.

“I would say, ‘Don’t leave; let us build a large team together’. It is not every election year we would go and form a new political party. It doesn’t entrench our democratic process,” he said.

Orji kalu Discards Rumour Of 2019 Presidential Ambition

The All Progressives Congress (APC) Chieftaincy and former governor Orji Kalu, has distanced himself from campaign posters pasted along Airport Road, Abuja, with the inscription: “Vote Orji Kalu for President on the platform of the APC.’’

Mr. Kalu, who is also a strong supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari, the posters are the handiwork of political jobbers and speculators, who are afraid of his political feat.‎

In a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday and signed by his Special Adviser, Kunle Oyewumi, Mr. Kalu insisted that he was solidly behind the candidature of President Muhammadu Buhari if he so desires to run in 2019, adding that the North should be allowed to complete their eight years tenure.

He said, ”after a two-week business trip to China, to my surprise on my way from Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, this morning, I sighted the malicious posters in my name with the caption: ‘Kalu for President.’

“It is definitely the handiwork of some politicians who are either afraid of my political capacity or enemies of the present administration as I have continually maintained my support for Mr President.

“The action of these jobless politicians is a ploy to damage the robust relationship I have with President Buhari and the top hierarchy of the APC.‎

“Such political blackmail is not only disheartening but unhealthy for Nigeria’s growing democracy.

“While I call on the unsuspecting public, especially members of the APC, to disregard the vicious posters, I am also reaffirming my unflinching and unaltered support for Mr President.

“I will contest in 2019 by the grace of God but definitely not for President”, Mr. Kalu declared.

IPOB: Orji Kalu Warns Against Attack Over Statement

Orji Uzor Kalu, the former Abia State Governor has warned the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, to be civil in their activities and stop misinterpreting every of his comment.

Kalu gave out the warning while reacting to a statement credited to IPOB condemning his claim that Kanu escaped from Nigeria to London via Malasyia.

Following an alleged raid of Kanu’s residence in Umuahia, the Abia State capital on September 14, the IPOB leader has not been seen or heard from, a situation that led to the disclosure by the former governor.

Aggrieved by Kalu’s claim, IPOB and Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, described the former governor as a drowning man looking for relevance.

IPOB had also threatened to drag Kalu, alongside the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai before a court of competent jurisdiction over the disappearance of its leader.

Reacting to the mirage of attacks on his person, Kalu reminded the group of his efforts in aiding both Kanu and the group in the past.

In a statement he signed, Kalu, “I believe everyone has right priorities and knows what really matters.For instance, our Igbo brothers are safe in the North and our minds are settled over their property, and that’s what matters.

“Dancing to the beats of a popular drum isn’t top of my list. These boys hurling abuses and insults on everyone that stands against division are simply ignorant.I forgive them.”

“I had wished the IPOB were more civil to monitor their utterances, and not take up a duty of attacking my personality and leaving the issue I raised.

“I wonder how IPOB easily forgot their lines. They have had many of their detained members bailed through my intervention.

“Would it be appropriate for even somebody like Emma Powerful to heap unprintable insults and accusations on me? I bailed him out when he was detained.

“When Nnamdi was in prison, I was the first to visit him, opening doors for others to do same. I did that because he is my brother. Although he showed a lot of appreciations during the visit but he still maintained his ground on Biafra.

“For the sake of posterity, I have made my stand clear. In a restructured Nigeria, Igbo people would be better off. We got it wrong in 1967 and we need to get it right now, else we get it wrong again.”

EFCC To Rearraign Orji Kalu May 16 On N5.6bn Laundering Allegation

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Monday, gave the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the nod to arraign the former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu on May 16.

Kalu who was hitherto answering to a 107-count corruption charge, will enter fresh plea to an amended 112-count charge dated ‎February 11, 2008.

Trial Justice ‎Anwuli Chikere granted EFCC the leave to re-arraign the former governor after she was furnished with judgment of the Supreme Court, which on March 18, ‎held that the defendant has a criminal case to answer.

Kalu will be arraigned alongside his firm Slok Nigeria Limited and his alleged accomplice Mr. Udeh Jones Udeogu.

‎Shortly after the trial court was served a copy of the apex court verdict, EFCC lawyer, Mr.Oluwa Leke Atolagbe‎, applied for an adjournment to enable the agency to effectively “prepare‎ for the case”.

His application was not opposed by‎ Kalu’s lawyer, Chief Awa Kalu, SAN, and that of the 2nd and 3rd defendants, Chief Solomon Akuma, SAN.

Basically, the charge against the defendants borders on money laundering and illegal diversion of public funds to the tune of N5.6billion.

The fraud was allegedly perpetuated while Kalu held sway as the governor of Abia State between 1999 and 2007.

Though the former governor was initially docked before the high court on July 27, 2007, however, for the past eight years, the 1st defendant, through various interlocutory applications, frustrated moves by the anti-graft to open its case against him.

He firstly challenged the competence of the charge against him, as well as the jurisdiction of the High Court to hear and determine the case.

Following refusal by the trial court to quash the charge, Kalu, took the case before the Court of Appeal in Abuja.

The appellate court, in a unanimous judgment, upheld the competence of the charge, adding that the high court was constitutionally empowered to exercise jurisdiction on the trial.

Dissatisfied with the verdict, Kalu approached the Supreme Court, begging it to set-aside the concurrent findings of the two lower courts.

The former governor, through his lawyer Chief 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 March 18, dismissed the appeal, even as it ordered the appellant to go and face his trial before the high court.

While upholding the Court of Appeal verdict, Justice Suleiman Galadima who delivered the lead verdict, said the apex court was satisfied that the former governor has a case to answer pertaining to allegations that were levelled against him by the EFCC.

Besides, the apex court ordered the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, to re-assign the case to another Judge to enable the trial to commence de-novo (afresh).

The apex court also ordered accelerated hearing of the matter.

Trial Justice Binta Murtala Nyako had on July 27, 2007, granted Kalu bail in the sum of N100 million with two sureties in like sum.

The court directed that the two sureties must be tax payers with evidence of regular payment for three consecutive years.

The court equally seized the travelling documents of the defendant, warning that he must always apply for leave to travel out of the country.‎‎

Orji Kalu Welcomes Supreme Court Ruling, Assures EFCC Of Support

Former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Kalu, yesterday, welcomed the verdict of the Supreme Court directing his trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged N2.4billion fraud when he ran the affairs of the state between 1999 and 2007.

The apex court had dismissed his appeal for lacking in merit.

Kalu, who in the appeal, had sought to quash the charge of money laundering brought against him by EFCC, said moment after the Supreme Court’s ruling yesterday that “this is another opportunity to prove my innocence.

“I have all the records and facts of the case. I am willing to submit myself for the rule of law to take its course. That has always been my passion advocacy, right from the lower courts where the case enamnated,” he said from London.

He added: “this clarification has become imperative lest oppositional forces mischievously misinterpret the ruling and mislead the public by injecting their jaundiced opinions into the routine directive as had always been with similar cases where the apex court intervened.”

He assured the EFCC of his “continued support and profound cooperation in any further investigation into this allegation,’’ and also claimed it “is part of the price I have to pay for opposing the third-term agenda fiasco of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.”

A similar appeal by Kalu’s associate, Udeh Jones Udehogo, was similarly dismissed yesterday by the Supreme Court for the same reason.

Justice Suleiman Galadima, who wrote the lead judgments in both appeals, upheld the concurrent decisions of the Federal High Court, Abuja and Appeal Court, Abuja, in refusing the appeals.

The five-man panel of the apex court, in its unanimous judgments, directed the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to assign the cases to new judges for hearing.

On Kalu’s case, Justice Galadima, whose judgment was read by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, said: “The appellant had approached the Federal High Court, Abuja to quash the charges made against him by the EFCC.

“The Court dismissed the case. He went to the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division. He lost and approached this court.

“Having considered all issues raised and arguments by parties, I come to the conclusion that I cannot, but help in dismissing this appeal for lacking in merit. It is dismissed.

“I affirm the decision of the court bellow, which rightly affirmed the decision of the Federal High Court, that it was not bound by the ex-parte order of the Abia State High Court as to vitiate the charges preferred against the appellant.

“The learned Chief Judge of the Federal High Court should assign the case to another judge for expeditious trial,” Justice Galadima said.

Other members of the panel: Justice Mahmud Mohammed (the Chief Justice of Nigeria), Bode Rhodes-Vivour, sylvester Nwgwuta and Datijo Mohammed agreed with the lead judgments in both appeals.

In its decision on April 27, 2012, the Court of Appeal, Abuja division, dismissed the appeal by Kalu against the ruling of the Federal High Court, Abuja, dismissing his motion seeking to quash the charge against him and his company, Slok Nigeria Limited.

Justice Ejembi Eko, who read the judgment on behalf of Justices Kayode Bada and Regina Nwodo, resolved all issues in the appeal against Kalu and his company and dismissed the appeal for lacking in merit.

Justice Eko noted that the proof of evidence attached to the 97 count charge preferred against the appellants by the EFCC disclosed a prima facie case against the former governor and others.

Justice Eko said the facts raised in the proof of evidence established a prima facie case against the appellants. He further said that as far as there is a link which prima facie is all about, the appellants had an obligation to stand trial to defend themselves.

He further ruled that the ex-parte order of May 31, 2007 by Abia State High Court, asking the Federal High Court to stay all proceedings against Orji was a racquet suit aimed at frustrating his arrest and subsequent prosecution.

“That order was an order at large, personal rather than definite. It was an order made as an ex-parte and not at the course of trial.” He described the ex-parte motion as an abuse of court process.

Justice Eko said the claim of breach of personal freedom raised by Orji was sentimental in nature, adding that the claim bordered on the realm of conspiracy theory and is politically motivated. He said right to personal liberty is not absolute.

On whether EFCC had the competence to charge the appellants, Justice Eko held that both the EFCC Establishment Act and the Money laundering and Prohibition Act, (MPLA, 2003, 2004) had given the commission power to prosecute offenders.

“EFCC derives its competence to prosecute from section 6 and 7 of its Establishing Act. Equally, the definition of economic crime is quite wide,” he said.

The appellate court further held that the proof of evidence attached to the 97-count charge preferred against the appellants by the EFCC disclosed a prima facie case against the former governor and others.

Justice Eko also denounced the ex-parte order of May 31, 2007 by the Abia State High Court.

“That order was an order at large, personal rather than definite. It was an order made as an ex-parte and not at the course of trial.”

The EFCC had on July 27, 2007 arraigned Kalu before the High Court in Abuja on charges of money laundering, official corruption and criminal diversion of public funds totaling over N5 billion.

On September 3, 2007 Kalu filed a motion before the court seeking an order to strike out all EFCC charges against him and to vacate the terms and conditions of the bail earlier granted by the court. The court dismissed the motion, a decision Kalu appealed to the Court of Appeal.

After Eight-Year Delay, Supreme Court Orders Orji Kalu To Go Face Trial

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.
Meanwhile, following refusal by the trial court to quash the charge, Kalu, took the case before the Court of Appeal in Abuja.The appellate court, in a unanimous judgment, upheld the competence of the charge, adding that the high court was constitutionally empowered to exercise jurisdiction on the trial.Dissatisfied with the verdict, Kalu approached the Supreme Court, begging it to set-aside the concurrent findings of the two lower courts.

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.

While upholding the Court of Appeal verdict, Justice Suleiman Galadima who delivered the lead verdict, said the apex court was satisfied that the former governor has a case to answer pertaining to allegations that were levelled against him by the EFCC.

Besides, the apex court ordered the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, to re-assign the case to another Judge to