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.

Former Governor of Abia state Orji Uzor Kalu

After his release from the Nigerian correctional facility in Kuje Abuja, the former governor, Orji Kalu stated that the past five months have been quite a profound period for him. Despite the difficulties he had faced within the period, it has provided an avenue for him to learn invaluable lessons about the country, the people, the justice system and true meaning of love which he elucidated to be family love, love for the country and love for humanity. In addition to this, Orji Kalu stated that his experience was examined and reaffirmed his belief and confidence in the country, Nigeria. Also, he termed his case as a true Nigerian story with a bold made- in-Nigeria stamp which is a story of initial injustice that was discovered and ultimately corrected. Indeed, a story of restoration. He also said that his story is how a wrong was righted and how justice and truth dominated at the end. He advised that lessons to learn from his case is to be patience and dedicated even though things do not get right at the first instance, definitely it will surely get right. Also, with this, the country, Nigeria shall be placed in its rightful position.

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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