Former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, has approached a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, seeking an order of court striking out his name and that of his company, Slok Nigeria Limited from the alleged N7.1billion corruption case preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Kalu’s lawyer, Ikoro N. Ikoro, said the application was based on the ground of the judgement of Justice Inyang Ekwo of the court, delivered on September 29, 2021, which barred the federal government from retrying the former governor.
Kalu, currently a Senator and also the Chief Whip of the Senate, representing Abia North senatorial district, submitted that having been freed, it behooves on him to apply to the court to formally strike out his name and his firm from the charge sheet.
Moreso, Kalu, through his lawyer, filed an application for the EFCC to unfreeze his bank account.
However, the scheduled re-arraignment of the former Commissioner of Finance in Abia State, Jones Udeogu, whom the court had ordered his retrial as well as hearing of all pending applications, could not go on.
Slok’s counsel, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, and Kalu’s lawyer had informed the court that the EFCC’s counsel, Rotimi Jacob, SAN, served his response to their application which they served on him since October, 2021, on Monday, January 10, 2022.
Though Ikoro and Uche expressed dismay over the way the EFCC lawyer decided to wait to serve his counter affidavit on Monday night, saying they needed time to reply.
In view of the foregoing, the trial judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo adjourned with the consensus of all parties to March 10, 2022 for hearing of Kalu and Slok’s applications as well as EFCC’s motion on notice seeking transfer of the matter to Lagos.
Recall that Justice Ekwo had on September 29, 2021, stopped the federal government from retrying Orji Uzor Kalu, over the alleged N7.1 billion fraud.
Kalu was charged alongside his firm, Slok and Udeogu. While the duo were convicted and sentenced for 12 years, the company was wound up.