The Federal High Court in Lagos State has ordered the release of former Abia state governor and serving senator, Orji Uzor Kalu from prison.
Thelagostimes gathered that justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court in Lagos had, during a trial on Tuesday, ordered the release of Kalu from prison Correctional Centre.
Recall that some weeks ago, the Supreme Court nullified Kalu’s conviction. He was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment over N7.16 billion fraud, on December 5.
The Supreme Court had upturned the judgment in its ruling led by Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Amina Augie. The ruling held that the trial Justice, Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court in Lagos acted without jurisdiction.”
Subsequently, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, condemned the judgment of the Supreme Court, describing it as a technical ambush against the trial of the former governor. The agency had declared preparedness for a fresh and immediate retrial.
Thelagostimes recalls that Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, and the former director of finance and accounts during his administration, Ude Udeogo were sentenced to 12 and 10 years imprisonment respectively for diverting N7.6 billion belonging to the state government during their time in office.
Justice Idris Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court in Lagos on December 12, 2019, sentenced Kalu to 12 years imprisonment after finding him guilty of N7.1bn fraud charges levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Later, Kalu and Udeogu filed an appeal to challenge their sentencing at the Supreme Court.
The apex court, in a unanimous verdict by a seven-man panel of Justices led by Justice Amina Augie, held that the Federal High Court in Lagos acted without jurisdiction when it convicted Kalu, his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited and former Director of Finance in Abia State, Jones Udeogu.
It held that trial Justice Mohammed Liman was no longer a judge of the Federal High Court as at the time he sat and delivered the judgement that convicted the defendants for allegedly stealing about N7.1billion from Abia state treasury.
The apex court had therefore, ordered the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to reassign the case for trial.