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Market Digest Nigeria


Court sets date for Kalu Uzor’s retrial


Court fixes date for Kalu Uzor’s retrial over N7.1bn fraud allegations

Former Abia State Governor, Senator Orji Kalu, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will on July 2, adopt their processes in the suit filed by Kalu seeking to stop his retrial in an alleged N7.1 billion money laundering offence.

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, assigned to hear Kalu ’s objection to his retrial in a matter that went up to the Supreme Court, on Wednesday, announced that parties in the matter will adopt all processes filed in the suit after it was established that all respondents have been served.

The court had granted leave to the senator representing Abia North Senatorial District at the National Assembly to challenge the legality of his retrial in the same charges last February.

At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, Prof. Awa Kalu (SAN), counsel to the former governor, had told the court that the respondents have served on him their counter affidavits.

The counsel to the first respondent (EFCC), Oluwaleke Atolagbe; George Ukaegbu representing the second respondent, and K.C Nwufor for the third respondent, all admitted having filed and exchanged processes.

In a short ruling, Justice Ekwo said since all parties have “joined issues”, the court has taken over control of the case.

Subsequently, the court adjourned to July 2, for adoption.

Kalu, by his suit, is seeking an order of court prohibiting the federal government, through the EFCC, its officers, servants, others, agents, privies and any other person or bodies deriving authority from the Federal Republic of Nigeria, from retrying him on charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/56/2007 between FRN vs Orji Kalu & 2 ors, or any other charge based on the same facts de novo, there being no extant judgment and ruling of a competent court in Nigeria mandating same.

According to him, having been tried once by EFCC, convicted and sentenced in the same charges FHC/ABJ/CR/56/ 2007, it will amount to double jeopardy for him if he is allowed to be subjected to a fresh trial on same charge.

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