A former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, has informed a Federal High Court that the Supreme Court did not order his re-trial over alleged money laundering.
Kalu, who is the Senate Chief Whip under the All Progressives Congress (APC), is facing fresh charges of money laundering worth N7.6 billion against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
At the adoption of the arguments by lawyers in the matter yesterday, Kalu’s counsel, Awa Kalu (SAN) informed the court that the order of the Supreme Court on May 8, 2020 did not include him for retrial.
All the lawyers in the matter including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) adopted their arguments yesterday.
The EFCC began moves for the re-arraignment after the apex court set aside the judgment of Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos, which convicted and sentenced Kalu, his former aide, Jones Udeogu and his company, Slok Nigeria Ltd to 12 years imprisonment.
The apex court relied on procedural errors in the trial and declared it as unconstitutional and in violation of Section 396(7) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, after the trial judge in Lagos, who was elevated to the Court of Appeal, returned to conclude the matter.
Defence lawyers – Awa Kalu (SAN) and George Ukaegbu Esq, and Chris Uche (SAN) for Slok Nigeria Ltd are contending that the re-trial would breach the judicial doctrine of autrefois convict (not to be tried in a matter earlier acquitted in), and would impose double jeopardy on the lawmaker.
Justice Inyang Ekwo has fixed September 20 for ruling in the matter.