Orji Kalu frustrates trial over N5.6bn fraud, EFCC tells court

Orji Uzor Kalu

The EFCC have accused Mr. Kalu of resorting to various legal tactics to delay his trial.

The trial of former Abia State Governor, Orji Kalu, for alleged N5.6 billion fraud was on Thursday stalled at the Federal High Court in Abuja due to a pending appeal.

Mr. Kalu had approached the Supreme Court to request it to set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal which upheld the charges levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. He had urged the trial court to quash the charges as no evidence was established against him.

The anti-graft agency had, among other things, accused the former governor of stealing over N5.6 billion belonging to Abia State while in office.

At the resumed session, O. Ololagbe, Counsel to EFCC, said the accused had resorted to various legal tactics to delay his trial.

“My Lord, this matter has dragged on since 2007 when the accused was arraigned and does not seem to have made any head way,’’ he said.

However, Mr. Kalu urged the court to discountenance the allegation made by EFCC, since he is rightly before the Supreme Court.

“My Lord, the appeal and the brief of argument have been entered, so what is left now is a date to commence hearing. The reason we are here today is simply to brief the trial court on the progress of the appeal and not to question a possible legal tactics to delay the trial.

“These are serious criminal allegations that are not founded on truth but built on political leanings. So we must deal with it judicially and judiciously, irrespective of the time consumed,” his counsel said.

Justice Adamu Bello adjourned the matter to July 8 for the report of progress from the Supreme Court.

(NAN)


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