Tag Archives: Orji Uzor Kalu

EFCC demands Kalu’s tranfer to Lagos Court for trial.

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Kalu asked the court to stop the EFCC from retrying him on the same N7.1 billion money laundering charge.

Ex-gov asks court to prevent his ‘second trial’
Planned re-arraignment of former governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, before Justice I. E. Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, could not proceed following objection raised by the prosecuting Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).

Director (Legal and Prosecution) of EFCC, Chile Okoroma, appearing for the prosecution, informed the court that the anti-graft agency had written to the chief judge of the Federal High Court requesting that the case be transferred to Lagos Division of the Federal High Court, which he argued has jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

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“On January 20, 2021, we wrote a letter to the chief judge of the Federal High Court requesting for the transfer of this case to the Lagos Division of this court.

“My lord, we have also written another letter dated February 2, 2021, which I have served on all parties involved in this matter. We will be asking that this matter be adjourned sine-die, pending the decision of the chief judge.

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“One thing is certain, the case cannot be heard in Abuja,” Okoroma said.

Kalu asked the court to stop the EFCC from retrying him on the same N7.1 billion money laundering charge.

He said having been tried once by EFCC, convicted and sentenced in the same charge, it would amount to double jeopardy for him to go through the same, a second time.

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In an ex-parte motion moved through his counsel, Prof. Awa Kalu (SAN), the former governor pleaded with the court to rescue him from suffering double jeopardy

He further asked that if his application is granted, it should operate as a stay of proceedings until the determination of the application or until the judge otherwise orders.

Justice Ekwo, in a brief ruling, rejected the application of the prosecution to adjourn sine die. Instead, he adjourned proceedings till June 7, 2021 for the prosecution to report on the outcome of its application to the chief judge.

Kalu, alongside his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited, and former Director of Finance in Abia State, Jones Udeogu, are to be docked for fraud to the tune of about N7.1billion.

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The ex-Abia governor and senator representing Abia North at the National Assembly was already serving his 12-year jail term at the Kuje Prison when the Supreme Court nullified his conviction by Justice Idris Mohammed of a Federal High Court, Lagos on technical ground.

The apex court held that the trial judge was no longer a judge of the Federal High Court at the time he delivered the judgment, having been elevated to the Appeal Court.

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#Newsworthy

2023: Orji Uzor kalu as Nigeria’s next President, not my prophecy – TB Joshua

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Prophet TB Joshua made the clarification in a tweet posted on Monday.

The founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Prophet TB Joshua, has denied saying Senator Orji Kalu would be the next president of Nigeria.

The controversial cleric described the story making the rounds as “fake news”.

He said he has been on his prayer mountain for five days now and could not have made the statement.

“FAKE NEWS ALERT! Please be informed that the story circulating titled “Orji Kalu is Nigeria’s Next President, says TB Joshua” is NOT from TB Joshua.

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“TB Joshua is not around; he is at the Prayer Mountain in a rural area for the past five days,” the tweet read.

The prophet was reported to have said over the weekend that President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor, would be a former governor from the southern part of the country who was held in prison.

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#Newsworthy

Orji Uzor Kalu Seeks Tenure Extension For Yobe Governor.

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The Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, has urged the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to extend the tenure of the Governor Mai Mala Buni led Caretaker Committee of the party to March 2021.

He made the request to the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) in a statement by his spokesperson, Kunle Oyewumi, on Monday.

Kalu, who is a former governor of Abia State, believes there is no need for a ‘fire brigade approach’ on the proposed convention scheduled for December.

“It is with deep patriotic concerns and the future growth of our great party that I am appealing to the National Executive Council to consider extending the tenure of Governor Mai Mala Buni led APC Caretaker Committee to March 2021, against the December proposed period.

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“This is to give the caretaker committee members the needed time to put things in order and hand over properly to new leadership in the end,” he said.

The lawmaker stressed the importance of winning the forthcoming governorship election in Edo State, saying it was paramount to the party at the moment.

He was worried that the caretaker committee was not offering its best due to time constraints, adding that majority of the participants would be very busy with their national tasks during the December proposed period.

Kalu noted that lawmakers in the National Assembly and ministers would also be focused on budget preparation and defence and would not be in a better position to offer their best to the party.

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He said, “I don’t see any need of fire brigade approach for them to hand over to new leadership by December.

“The committee is expected to focus their attention on Edo State because the Edo State election will determine the strength of any new leadership.”

According to the former governor, holding the convention in December will also not give the party the desired results needed.

He stated that some of the ministers would also need to travel to their wards and make adequate preparations for the party’s congress.


#Newsworthy…

Orji kalu mourn late Buruji Kashamu

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The Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Kalu, has condoled with the government and people of Ogun over the death of Sen. Buruji Kashamu.

In a statement from his office, on Sunday, Kalu conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the Kashamu family.

While acknowledging the philanthropic gestures of the late senator, the chief whip expressed sadness over the loss and prayed to God to repose the soul of the deceased.

“I received with pain, the news of the demise of Sen. Buruji Kashamu.

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“The late Sen. Kashamu was a philanthropist and consummate politician, who was passionate about the welfare of his people.

“The deceased was a notable figure in the political space, having served as a senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District in the 8th National Assembly.

“He was a detribalised Nigerian,’’ Kalu said.

The former governor of Abia prayed to God to comfort the family members, friends, and associates of the deceased.


#Newsworthy…

NDDC: Uduaghan, Orji Kalu denies wrongdoing

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Former Niger-Delta states Governors, Orji Kalu and Emmanuel Uduaghan on Monday denied any wrongdoing regarding their involvement in Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) contracts.

Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, had reportedly mentioned both former Governors as beneficiaries of NDDC contracts.

However, Kalu, who was Abia State Governor between 1999 to 2007, said his involvement in NDDC contracting had been based on community interest.

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“Between 2016- 2018 during my tour to several communities; leaders and welfare unions of most communities pleaded for urgent intervention on some dilapidated roads,” he said, in a statement signed by one of his aides, Emeka Nwala, “I wrote to the NDDC informing the body of the conditions of these roads and the need for their attention since Abia is an NDDC state.

“The NDDC in their consideration which I am very grateful to awarded the roads to companies that duly tendered for the projects and not myself. Whatever link I have with the projects is because it was considered due to my intervention.”

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Meanwhile, former Delta State Governor, Uduaghan, described reports linking him to an NDDC contract as “mischievous” and a “falsehood.”

“In the said publication, it was stated that ‘Uduaghan was linked to the emergency repairs of Close B, Alhaji Estate & Environs, Rumuodomaya, Port Harcourt at a cost of N429m’,” a statement signed by Uduaghan’s spokesman, Monoyo Edon, said.

“We want to state very clearly that the said accusation is FALSE. Dr. Uduaghan has never approached the NDDC for any contract whatsoever. It is even more ridiculous that the said contract is a road inside Port Harcourt town.”

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila then challenged Akpabio to provide a list of lawmakers who have benefited from the agency’s contract. (Noble Reporters Media / Olamide Noble)

Unpaid Contractors
In his statement on Monday, Kalu, who is now the Chief Whip of the Senate, alleged that the NDDC is yet to pay contractors who built the roads he facilitated for the commission.

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“The roads I requested for intervention as mentioned by the Honourable Minister were repairs of Ezere-Acha-Ndiokoukwu Road; Amaubiri-Eluama-Uru Ring Road, Lokpaukwu, Umuchieze; Ndi Oji Abam-Atan Road; the Okafia-Ozuitem-Bende road and Ozu-Amuru-Abam Road,” he said.

“The contractors have completed and delivered these roads a long time ago except Abam-Atani road which I learned from the contractors was slowed down due to rain but still ongoing.

“Meanwhile, it would interest Nigerians to know that the contractors who built these roads have not been paid any dime. It has not been easy with the contractors but because it’s a community project they have only but kept hope alive on the NDDC.”

A Troubled Commission
The NDDC is currently undergoing a forensic audit over allegations of financial misappropriation within the agency.

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Supervising Minister for the Commission, Akpabio, had appeared before a House of Representatives Committee in July where he said lawmakers were the major beneficiaries of NDDC contracts.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila then challenged Akpabio to provide a list of lawmakers who have benefited from the agency’s contract.

Kalu, on Monday, said the linking of his name to the contracts will not push him to stop his interventions on roads in NDDC states.

“Good roads help to drive the economy,” he said. “Therefore, I believe the NDDC forensic audit should focus on the missing funds and not works done.

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“They should focus on paying contractors that delivered their jobs and not using my name indiscriminately to sell newspapers.

“The Honourable Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio is my good old friend. We have been friends even before I became a governor.

“I hope he doesn’t expect me to stop seeking road interventions in our communities.

“It is his civic responsibility to support the communities and I am very confident he will oblige our future requests especially in areas of good roads.”


#Newsworthy…

Why Orji Kalu’s seat is not declared vacant

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President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan on Tuesday explained why the Senate refused to yield to pressure to declare Senator Orji Uzor Kalu’s s seat vacant during the period of his incarceration.

Lawan, according to a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ola Awoniyi, gave the explanation on Tuesday when leaders of thought from Abia State, paid him a courtesy visit.

He said what the Senate did by preserving Kalu’s seat and his position was not extra-ordinary but the right and just thing to do.

The delegation of the leaders of thought was at the National Assembly in Abuja to appreciate the Senate and its leadership for showing their concerns for Kalu during his incarceration.

The Senate Chief Whip was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment in December 2019 for fraud committed while he was Abia State Governor between 1999 and 2007.

Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu (left) and President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan (Right) exchanging pleasantries during a solidarity visit to the former on Thursday night after his release from the Kuje correctional facility, Abuja (Source: Senate)
Sunday Aborisade, Abuja

Kalu spent six months in the correctional facility before he eventually regained his freedom and returned to the Senate following the Supreme Court’s judgement which nullified his conviction on grounds of lack of jurisdiction by the trial judge.

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Lawan said, “There was no way anybody could convince us in the Senate that somebody should take the Abia North Seat because it wasn’t vacant.

“He(Kalu) was on several appeals and until he exhausted all the opportunities available to him, that seat remained his seat.

“Similarly the position of the Chief Whip, we didn’t even appoint an acting Chief Whip. The Deputy Chief Whip continued to play that role until he was released.

“We came under pressure, of course. But we thought the right thing to do was to keep that seat, that position until he was able to get his judgement.”


#Newsworthy…

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Orji kalu resumes – attend plenary

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Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has on Tuesday resumed his legislative duties as the Chief Whip of the Senate.

He was seen at the National Assembly complex, receiving ”welcome back” greetings from colleagues, legislative staff and security operatives.

The embattled lawmaker spent not less than five months at Kuje correctional facility.

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Orji said to newsmen that his goal was to complete the task he had not attended to in the last six months.

“There is hope. A lot of things still needed to be done. You people should allow me go and do the job I have not done for my constituency,” he said.

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He noted that his constituents still believed in him because on his track record as a governor.

“They know I was action governor and I am going to be action senator; so there is no problem.

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“My constituency and Nigerians, we need to focus our agenda to them. Let’s keep hope alive and see what the future brings,” he said.

He, however, expressed appreciation to God for the release.

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Kalu was sentenced to 12 years in prison for N7.65 billion fraud by a Lagos Division of the Federal High Court presided over by Justice Mohammed Idris on Dec. 5, 2019.

The judgement was however, set aside by a seven-member panel of the Supreme Court leading to his release


#Newsworthy…

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Orji Uzor Kalu get executive visitations amid prison release. [Photos]

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Senate President, Ahmad Lawan led other senators to the residence of Abia lawmaker Orji Uzor Kalu who was released from prison this week.

Recall with NobleReporters that the Chief Whip of the upper legislative chamber regained freedom on Wednesday, June 3, months after being jailed following his arraignment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on 36 counts of money laundering to the tune of N7.1 billion.

Others on the senate who visited Orji Uzor Kalu include Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe and Deputy Whip, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi.


#Newsworthy…

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Update: Kalu out of Prison.


Former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, has been freed from prison.

He regained freedom on Wednesday after months of incarceration.

The Senator walked out of Kuje Correctional Centre after the completion of his release formalities.

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His Warrant of Release was signed by Justice Liman and transmitted to prison authorities.

Liman of the Federal High Court, Lagos, had on Tuesday ordered Kalu’s release.

He set aside the trial, conviction and sentence of the former governor to 12 years imprisonment on December 5, 2019.


#Newsworthy…

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[Nigeria] We demand re-trial – EFCC fights after Court set Kalu free

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, said it is prepared for re-trial of former governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu , his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited, and Jones Udeogu, a former Director of Finance and Account of Abia State Government as directed by the Supreme Court on Friday.

The anti- graft agency said this in a statement by Dele Oyewale, its head of media and publicity, while reacting to the judgment of the Supreme Court judgment which nullified the trial and sentencing of Kalu and Udeogu to 12 and 10 years jail terms respectively over N7.6 billion fraud early in the day.

Justices of the apex court had in the unanimous verdict said Justice Mohammed Idris, who convicted Kalu and others, had been elevated to the Court of Appeal before the judgment and therefore out of jurisdiction when he delivered the judgment.

“The EFCC considers the judgment of the apex court as quite unfortunate. It is a technical ambush against the trial of the former governor.

“The Commission is prepared for a fresh and immediate trial of the case because its evidences against Kalu and others are overwhelming.

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“The corruption charges against Kalu still subsist because the Supreme Court did not acquit him of them.

“The entire prosecutorial machinery of the EFCC would be launched in a fresh trial where justice is bound to be served in due course.”


#Newsworthy…

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[Nigeria] Court nullify Kalu’s conviction.

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The Supreme Court has nullified the judgment which convicted the former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu.

A seven-man panel of the apex court also set aside the judgment which convicted Ude Udeogu, a former Director of Finance and Account at the Abia State Government House.

The Supreme Court gave the judgement on Friday, about five months after both men were convicted of corruption allegations levelled against them by the Federal Government.

Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos had sentenced Senator Kalu to 12 years imprisonment in his judgement delivered in December 2019.

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He had also sentenced Mr Udeogu to 10 years imprisonment on the same day.

A file photo of a courtroom at the Supreme Court complex in Abuja. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

Displeased with the judgement of the Federal High Court, Kalu and Udeogu filed an appeal to challenge their sentencing at the Supreme Court.

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The apex court, in a unanimous verdict on the appeal delivered by Justice Ejembi Eko, declared that the conviction of the appellants was null and void.

Justice Eko explained that the declaration was on the ground that Justice Mohammed Idris was already a Justice of the Court of Appeal, as at the time he delivered the judgment sentencing the appellants.

He held that a Justice of the Court of Appeal cannot operate as a judge of the Federal High Court.

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The apex court, therefore, ordered the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to reassign the case for trial.

The Federal High Court had sentenced Senator Kalu on December 5, 2019, after finding him guilty of fraud to the tune of N7.56 billion.

The assets of Slok Nigeria Limited, his company, were also forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

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Similarly, the court sentenced Udeogu in an amended 39-count.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) filed the charges against them.


#Newsworthy…

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Just in: Orji Uzor Kalu preaches in prison.

pray over COVID-19


The convicted Senator representing Abia-North Senatorial Zone, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has asked Nigerians not to give up in the face of the coronavirus pandemic that has hit the world.

He made this known in a press release by his Media Aide, Maduka Okoro, on Tuesday morning. Orji expressed his ultimate and abiding faith in God, saying that COVID-19 will eventually be a thing of the past.


He asked that this difficult and challenging period does not call only for solemn reflections, but for all well-meaning Abia-North sons and daughters, despite the socio-political differences, to collectively work together to fight the scary scourge that is very devastating.

Kalu said, “We must come together as a nation and people to seek the face of the Almighty God, so that His GRACE and Mercy will shine upon us all. I am constantly praying for the people of my constituency and will continue to work tirelessly, bearing the cross in these trying times.

“I urge you all not to relent but to keep hope alive, for soon and very soon the light of Hope will shine at the end of the tunnel by God’s infinite Grace”.

“May God continue to bless Ndi-Abia North and our dear Country Nigeria,” the ex-Abia governor added.


#Newsworthy…