Judge’s absence stalls Orji Kalu’s corruption trial

Orji Uzor-Kalu

The absence of Justice Mohammed Idris on Monday stalled the trial of the former governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, before a Lagos Division of the Federal High Court.

The matter had been adjourned to continue Monday but most of the courts failed to sit due to the ongoing judges’ conference in Abuja.

A new date, October 3 – 6, was fixed for the continuation of trial.

Mr. Kalu, Udeh Jones Udeogu and Slok Nigeria Limited were re-arraigned before the court in October last year on a 34-count charge of alleged N3.2 billion fraud.

They pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Mr. Kalu, who served as governor between 1999 and 2007, was first arraigned in 2007 on a 96-count charge of money laundering.

After a lengthy legal battle, the Supreme Court, in 2016, ordered him to stand trial.

In the latest charge, Mr. Kalu and other accused persons were alleged to have diverted about N3.2 billion from Abia State government treasury between 2001 and 2005

Five prosecution witnesses have, so far, testified in the trial.


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