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Alleged N6.7bn fraud: Judge withdraws from Kalu’s case

Orji Uzor Kalu

The trial of the former governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, over the N6.7b fraud case slammed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was yesterday stalled as the trial judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, said he had been asked to hands-off the case by the president of the Court of Appeal who did not renew the fiat on the matter.

Justice Idris said : “Let me say this. I should not proceed further in this matter since I have not been asked by the President of the Court of Appeal to continue hearing this case. I am sitting on the High Court Bench on the authority of the Court of Appeal President having been elevated to the appellate court. It is the President who issues me fiat to continue on the matters I started as a high court judge before my elevation or gives me new fiat to start new ones which I have just received. But in this particular matter (involving Orji Uzor Kalu), the President did not renew my fiat to continue the case”, Justice Idris said.

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EFCC lawyer, Rotimi Jacob, said: “My lord, this case is for continuation of trial today. As you can notice the first defendant (Kalu) is not in court again. My lord, you will recall that the last adjourned date on November 12, 2018, the first defendant purportedly claimed he was away in Germany on medical treatment.”

Kalu’s lawyer, Awa Kalu, told the prosecuting counsel to put his intervention in an affidavit evidence so that he could respond to his allegations.

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