Ex-governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu reacts to Supreme Court’s Judgment after release
After the Supreme Court’s judgment on Friday, May 8, that the Federal High Court in Lagos acted without jurisdiction when it convicted Senator Orji Kalu, his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited and Abia State former Director of Finance Jones Udeogu, the former governor has reacted to the Court’s verdict.
Moreover, the former governor disclosed that having gained an additional perspective on matters of justice and injustice in the country for the past five months, the course of justice would not be complete if it stops in his own case. It has to continue until it touches millions of Nigerians all over the world who face injustice. He added that he will dedicate his time henceforth to ensuring that every Nigerian gets justice wherever they are irrespective of the state they are in the country. Justice for a single person or few persons will no longer be enough in the country. He also pledged that situations where innocent people are falsely accused with murder just to get them out of the way does not dignify the country and therefore should be put to an end. He added that the current justice must become justice for all as he looks forward to rejoining his colleagues in the senate as quickly as possible.
Report shows that the Supreme Court held that trial Justice Mohammed Liman was no longer the judge of the Federal High Court during the time he sat and made the verdict that convicted the defendants for allegedly stealing about 7.1bn Naira from Abia State treasury. According to the apex court, Justice Liman had been promoted to the Appeal Court before sitting for the case and therefore lacks the power to return as a High Court Judge. It held that the Fiat that was issued to him by the Court of Appeal President Pursuant to section 396(7) of the Administration of Criminal Justice act was not constitutional. Due to the aforementioned reason, the Supreme Court vacated the judgment that convicted the defendants and ordered a fresh trial.
The Federal High Court in Lagos had sentenced Orji Kalu to 12 years imprisonment for a 7.1bn naira fraud and money laundering on December 5, 2019. The court convicted the former governor on all the 39 counts forechose against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission charge. He was charged together with the state former Commissioner for Finance, Jones Udeogu and his company Slok Nigeria Limited.
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