Uzor-Kalu Tells Court He Has No Case To Answer

Uzor-Kalu Tells Court He Has No Case To Answer
  • PublishedMay 30, 2018

Embattled former Abia State Governor, Orji Kalu, on Wednesday told a Federal High Court in Lagos that he has no case to answer as regards the alleged fraud preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Kalu is being prosecuted alongside his company, Slok Nigeria Limited; and a former Director of Finance and Account at the Abia State Government House, Mr. Ude Udeogu.

The EFCC, in the charges, alleged that while he was governor of Abia State, Kalu siphoned funds running into over N2.9bn from the state’s treasury.

Kalu’s lawyer, Awa Kalu (SAN) at the resumed hearing on Wednesday informed Justice Mohammed Idris that he has filed a motion for no case submission on behalf of his client, stating that the ex-governor has no case to answer with regard to the alleged fraud.

“A motion for no case submission was filed on behalf of the first defendant on May 28 and it has been served on the prosecution,” Kalu said.

The other defence counsel, Solo Akuma (SAN) and K. C. Nwofo (SAN) also informed the court that they had filed no case submissions on behalf of the other defendants.

Earlier, EFCC’s counsel, Adebisi Adeniyi, had drawn the court’s attention to an amended charge filed by the anti-graft agency before the commencement of proceedings.

“We did inform the court at the last adjourned date that we want to file an amended charge. We have filed the amended charge this morning. We were also served with the defendants’ motion for no case submissions,” Adeniyi said.

In response, defence lawyers told the court that the defendants had not been served with any amended charge by the prosecution.

Akuma, however, drew the court’s attention to the provisions of Section 216 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, which, he argued, does not allow the prosecution to amend a charge without leave of court.

He said that the prosecution ought to have applied by way of motion on notice for amendment, which would afford the defence an opportunity to be heard before the court exercises its discretion for or against the application.

When the prosecution opted to serve the charge on defence counsel in court, Kalu objected to service on the grounds that the charge ought to be served personally on the accused and not on his counsel.

In a bench ruling, Justice Idris directed the service of the amended charge on the defendants inside the court.

The defence lawyers, however, sought for an adjournment to enable them to study the amended charge.

Justice Idris adjourned till June 13 for further hearing.

Kalu was accused of diverting state funds into the account of Slok Nigeria Limited, a company the EFCC claimed was owned by Kalu and his family members.


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