Tag Archives: orji

Orji Uzor Kalu’s Bail Disapproval May Lead To Celebrating Xmas In Jail.

Convicted Former Abia state governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, will be celebrating the yuletide in prison as his bail application was dismissed for lack in merit by a Federal high court sitting in Lagos today Monday December 23rd.

Recall that last week, Kalu filed an application for bail from Ikoyi prison where he is serving a 12 year jail term following his conviction for N7.2billion fraud on December 5th.

The former governor who was the chief whip of the Senate before his conviction, asked the court to grant him bail on health grounds. He argued that the prison lacked the medical facility to cater to his health challenges.

#Newsworthy…

SLOK asks appeal court to set aside winding up judgement.

SLOK Nigeria Limited has approached the Lagos division of the Court of Appeal to set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court ordering its winding up and forfeiture of its assets to the Federal Government.

The company, dissatisfied with the judgment of the Lagos division of the Federal High Court delivered by Justice MB Idris, in charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/56/2007-FRN V. Orji Kalu and 2 others, filed a notice of appeal pursuant to order 7 rule 2 in urging the appellate court to set aside the decision of the trial court and to pronounce it discharged and acquitted.

In the notice of appeal, which is predicated on 30 grounds, the appellant is challenging the entire decision of the lower court, positing that the trial judge erred in law and occasioned a miscarriage of justice in arriving at his conclusion.

Specifically, the appellant through its counsel, KC Nwufo, SAN, contended that the judgment of the trial court finding the appellant guilty on counts 12 to 39 of the charge, and ordering its winding up and forfeiture of its assets to the Federal Government is unreasonable, unwarranted and cannot be supported, having regard to the evidence adduced before the court.

It further contended that the trial judge erred in law when he assumed jurisdiction to entertain the charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/56/2007 as a high court judge after his elevation and swearing-in as a justice of the Court of Appeal, and that this occasioned a gross miscarriage of justice.

It is the contention of the appellant that there was no evidence before the court that the bank paid any money from Government House, Umuahia account into the appellant’s account, adding that PW19 on May 11, 2018 specifically stated under cross-examination that the staff of the Inland Bank did not lodge any money into the appellant’s account.

In addition, the company averred that its statement of account did not show that any funds from the state Government House, Umuahia was paid into its account.

The appellant further argued that the trial judge erred in law when he held thus: “In this case, the prosecution has tendered the statement of account which shows that money was lodged into the 3rd defendant’s account by Inland Bank. Besides, the question the 3rd defendant and the 1st defendant should be answering is not about the slips that show lodgment but the source of the money that Inland Bank was paying into its account.”

The appellant further contended that the trial judge erred in law when he held thus: “From the totality of evidence led by the prosecution and by considering the ingredients of the offences above, it is clear that the 1st defendant did procure the 3rd defendant to retain the proceed of crime and the 3rd defendant must have known or suspected that the money was gotten from criminal conducts, the 1st and 3rd defendants are therefore guilty of counts 1 and 12 respectively.”

On the above findings, the appellant argued that there is no evidence that the 1st defendant did procure the appellant to retain any proceeds of crime, as there is also no evidence that the appellant must have known or suspected that any money in her account was gotten from any alleged criminal conduct.

SLOK Nigeria further argued that there is no evidence placed before the court that the defendants, including the appellant, collaborated to conceal the origin of funds which were allegedly illegally withdrawn from the account of the Government House, Umuahia with UBA Plc.

It submitted that the appellant is not guilty of allegedly collaborating in concealing the genuine origin of the sum of N200,000,000.00, said to have been illegally withdrawn from the account of the Government House, Umuahia with UBA Plc.

#Newsworthy…

Kalu’s bail application pass Court’s hearings.

Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, former governor of Abia state and senate chief whip, has filed a bail application pending his appeal against his jail sentence.

The former governor, through his counsel, urged the court to grant him a post-conviction bail on health grounds.

A Federal High Court, Lagos had convicted Kalu following a 39-count charge brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In the appeal, yesterday, Kalu said he is battling “serious health issues that the medical facilities in the prison cannot handle.”

He also added that as senator representing Abia north, “the interest of his constituents would be in jeopardy if he was kept behind bars.”

He said since the offences he was convicted of were bailable, the court should free him while he challenges his conviction at the court of appeal.

However, Rotimi Oyedepo, counsel to the EFCC, opposed the application for post-conviction bail.

The EFCC counsel added that the medical facility at the Ikoyi Custodial Centre is capable of handling Kalu’s condition.

#Newsworthy…

Kalu files bail term on health ground.

Convicted former governor of Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu, has approached the courts to grant him bail on health grounds.

On December 5th, a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos state, sentenced the ex-governor cum Senator to 12 years imprisonment for committing N7.1bn fraud while he served as governor.

In an application filed today in court, Kalu asked that he be granted post-conviction bail on health grounds. In his application, Kalu who represents Abia North in the senate, said he is battling serious health challenges that the medical facilities in the prison cannot handle. He argued that the offences for which he was sentenced were bailable and that the court should free him while he challenges his conviction by Justice Mohammed Idris at the Court of Appeal.

He also told the court that his good work as the Chief Whip of the Senate and the senator representing Abia North Senatorial District would suffer if he continues to remain behind bars.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has opposed the post-conviction bail application. According to the antigraft agency, Kalu cannot be granted bail when has been convicted by a competent court of jurisdiction.

His bail application has been adjourned to December 23rd.

#Newsworthy…

Just in – EFCC seize kalu’s properties.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has started marking properties belonging to the former governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu for seizure.

Mr Kalu, a senator representing Abia North, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for a N7.65 billion fraud by Justice Muhammed Idris of a Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos.

According to the EFCC in a statement on Saturday, the marking is to ensure that the properties are not dissipated.

Read the EFCC statement below:

“EFCC Press Release
N7.65bn Fraud: EFCC Marks Ex-Abia Gov, Orji Kalu’s Properties

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Saturday,
December 14, 2019, marked properties belonging to a former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu.

The marking is to ensure that the properties are not dissipated, following the December 5, 2019 order of Justice Muhammed Idris sitting at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos that Kalu’s company, Slok Nigeria Limited, be wound up and all assets forfeited to the Federal Government.

Kalu, who is the Senator representing Abia North in the National Assembly, had been arraigned alongside his company, Slok Nigeria Limited and Udeh Udeogu, his Director of Finance and Accounts at the Abia State Government House, over an amended 39-count charge bordering on conspiring and diverting the sum of N7.65bn from the coffers of the state.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them by the EFCC, thereby leading to their full trial.

In the course of the trial, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, called 19 witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence by the court.

The defendants, however, testified on behalf of themselves during the trial.

The parties, during the proceedings on Tuesday, October 22, 2019, adopted their final written addresses.

In his final submission, the prosecution counsel, Jacobs, urged the judge to jail the defendants, saying the prosecution had proved the allegations against them.

Jacobs also urged the court to wind up the company as provided by the Law and all its assets forfeited to the Federal Government.

However, the defence counsel urged the court to “dismiss the charges, acquit and discharge” their clients.

Delivering his judgment, Justice Idris found the defendants guilty on all counts.

Justice Idris held that the prosecution had established its case against the defendants.

The Judge further held that “the case was conclusively investigated, as the prosecution conducted thorough investigations.”

Justice Idris, therefore, convicted and sentenced the first defendant,
Kalu to five years imprisonment on counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11; three years on counts 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32,
33; 12 years on counts 34, 35, 36, 37 and 38 and five years on count 39.

The second defendant was convicted and sentenced to three years imprisonment on counts 24, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32 and 10 years on counts 34, 37, 38 and 39.

Justice Idris further held that “In respect of the third convict, Slok Nigeria Limited, an order is hereby made that the company shall hereupon and without further assurances, but for this order, be wound up and all its assets and properties forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

Wilson Uwujaren

Head, Media & Publicity

14 December 2019

#Newsworthy…

Ibrahim Magu, Kalu Makes Symbolic Statements.

The Nigerian information space exploded on Thursday December 4, 2019, when news broke that the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has convicted a former governor of Abia State and Senator representing Abia North in the Senate, Senator Orji Kalu, of N7.1bn fraud and sentenced him to 12 years imprisonment.

Senator Kalu was convicted alongside his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited and his
Director of Finance and Account at the Abia State Government House, Mr. Jones Udeogu who served under him when he was Abia state governor.

While Udeogu was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, the judge ordered the winding up of Slok Nigeria Limited, holding that its assets and properties be forfeited to government.

The judgment, delivered by Justice Mohammed Idris, shocked and stunned the whole nation, not only because the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC had been on this case for 12 years after it first filed the fraud charges against Kalu in 2007, but also for the fact that the former Abia state governor had been widely regarded as a sacred cow and one of the most trusted ally and confidant of President Buhari; a claim he seemingly invoked and exploited to maximum effect when INEC was compelled by the courts to issue him with a certificate of return as Abia North Senator and most recently when the Supreme Court validated his victory and dismissed all the petitions challenging his election victory.

Not many people believed that a court of law in Nigeria would be bold enough to convict a man whose relationship with President Mohammadu Buhari, was such that he even took a well celebrated chieftaincy title from Katsina, the President’s state and his ride to the Senate became so smooth once he joined APC, the ruling Party, thus lending more credence to the narrative that your sins will be forgiven once you joined APC.

In any case, with this dramatic conviction of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, it appears that many people have grossly underestimated the unflinching tenacity and crusade like commitment of the EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu to the anti corruption war. This conviction, coming at this very auspicious time in the evolution of the anti corruption war, has more than consolidated the argument that Ibrahim Magu ought to be confirmed and retained as the substantive head of the EFCC.

It also sends a reassuring signal to the international community that Nigeria is quite serious about tackling corruption frontally, with a dedicated and courageous man in charge, but most importantly it delivers a clear and direct warning to all those under EFCC investigation for various fraud related allegations, but enjoying some form of official authority and responsibility, that the EFCC under Magu, is not going to dilly dally over fraud and corruption cases anymore and sooner than later, a proper and complete closure will be brought to many of the very outstanding and astounding cases.

Indeed, one of the most satisfying aspects of the judgement and conviction of Senator Orji Kalu was the commendation given to the EFCC by the Judge. In pronouncing the convicts guilty, Justice Idris had only glowing praise for the EFCC, stating unequivocally that the Commission proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.

Out of the 39 counts filed against the trio, the judge convicted Kalu of the entire 28 counts in which his name featured. On each of counts 1-11 and 39, he was sentenced to five years imprisonment; on each of counts 23-33, he was sentenced to three years imprisonment; and on each of counts 34-38, he was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment.

The judge, who hailed the investigation that culminated into the charge as in-depth and conclusive, said: “No gaps were left unfilled. This is the acceptable standard. I hold the view that the prosecution has established its case against the defendants; it did not fall short of the standard required by law in money laundering offences. It is clear upon the facts before this court that the prosecution had this case conclusively investigated before opting to bring this charge against the defendants. In other words, the prosecution did an in-depth and conclusive investigation.”

The import of this very succinct observation by the learned Justice Idris is a clear affirmation of the giant strides the EFCC under Ibrahim Magu has accomplished. Gone are the days when the Commission was often embarrassed by sitting judges and had to hurriedly withdraw promising cases from court as a result of shoddy and haphazardly construed investigations in their eagerness to secure glory seeking convictions. Under Magu’s unerring watch, the EFCC has transformed into a meticulous, clinical, dogged and tenacious investigative machine, with the ultimate objective of ensuring that any charge that is eventually tabled before the courts would have been throughly investigated and prepared with the utmost care and intention to secure a conviction at the end of trial.

It is also worth stating here that the conviction of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu is quite significant as it falls in line with the EFCC’s determination to bring as many
Politically Exposed Persons, PEPs to book; a drive which had already convicted Jolly Nyame, a former governor of Taraba State and Joshua Dariye, a serving Senator and a former governor of Plateau state both of whom are currently serving jail terms at Kuje Prison.

Dariye and Nyame, who were sentenced to 14 years in prison had approached the Court of Appeal to challenge the ‘guilty’ verdict handed down on them by a Federal Capital Territory High Court, Gudu presided over by Justice Adebukola Banjoko. However, while upholding their convictions, the Appellate Court commuted Dariye’s jail term to 10 years and that of Nyame to 12 years with a fine of N495 million.

It is highly anticipated that Senator Orji Uzor Kalu may also approach the court if Appeal to try and overturn his own conviction too. Indeed, a legal practitioner ostensibly speaking on behalf of the Abia North Senator has already boasted that the judgement will be appealed from the Appeal Court up to the Supreme Court, even insisting that there was no cause for alarm.

However, without prejudice to whatever transpires henceforth legally, the point remains that with this conviction of Senator Orji Kalu, the EFCC, led by Ibrahim Magu as the acting Chairman, has proven once more that the Commission remains consistent in its concerted efforts towards ensuring that the negative narrative of pervasive corruption in the Nigerian system is changed for the better, and the perception that some persons are sacred cows who are above the Law, is altered.

There is no doubt that in the last four years, the political will of President Muhammadu Buhari has emboldened and energized the EFCC to embark on enforcement and preventive measures against corruption with a view to tame the monster and with the preventive, enforcement and prosecution mandate given to the Commission, all that is needed is the combination of courage, integrity, and determination which has been proved beyond reasonably doubt are all embodied in Magu and which will be intensified with the confirmation of a substantive authority to drive the anti corruption war to new, successful heights.

Indeed, like Ibrahim Magu himself said, the battle to make the country a place where foreign in

#Newsworthy…

NAC – The 12 years prison sentence of kalu shows that EFCC boss fears nobody.

Anti-graft group, Nigerians Against Corruption, NAC, has described the conviction of former governor of Abia state, Orji UzorKalu, by Justice Muhammed Idris of a Federal High Court in Lagos as a mark that shows EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu means business with the President Buhari’s anti-corrution war.

Orji Kalu, who is the Senate Chief Whip, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for stealing public funds while in office. Justice Idris further held that Mr Kalu’s company, Slok Nigeria Limited, the third defendant, be wounded up and all assets forfeited to the federal government.

Commenting on the judgment, the group’s National coordinator said with this feat, Magu deserves the support of all well meaning Nigerians while calling on the President to as a matter of exigency renominate him for a fresh 4-year term as the EFCC chairman.

“The conviction of a whole Senate Chief Whip has shown that Mr Ibrahim Magu is serious about eradicating financial corruption in our polity. If a former governor and a member of the President’s party can bag a 12 year jail term, I tell you this man means business”.

“Don’t forget that Orji Kalu holds a chieftaincy title from President Buhari’s hometown of Daura. His various media outfits also gave the president awards yet, Ibrahim Magu has sent him to jailed.

“I seriously call on President Buhari to return Magu as EFCC boss and also empower the agency to do much more. I also want to urge Nigerians to cooperate with this government to get rid of corruption in Nigeria.

The anti-graft crusader also added that Nigerians should expect the conviction of more high profile Nigerians.

#Newsworthy…

Kalu to present bail application, stay execution

…two others found guilty

Lawyers of the former governor of Abia State and Chief Whip of the Senate, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, have concluded arrangements to file a stay of execution and bail pending appeal on his behalf following his conviction over charges of N7.2 billion fraud brought against him and two others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Justice Muhammed Idris of the Federal High Court, Lagos in his judgment, convicted Kalu, former Director of Finance in Abia State, Jones Ude Udeogo, and a company, Slok Nigeria Ltd, of the alleged offences.

Reacting to the court’s judgment, one of Kalu’s lawyers, Chief Charles Ewelunta, confirmed that the legal team had obtained the Certified True Copy (CTC) and would study the judgment to guide the counsel in filing an appeal.

The counsel noted that before the appeal, the team will file applications for a stay of execution and bail pending appeal on Kalu’s behalf, which are permissible in law.

In his judgment, Justice Idris chronicled all counts and pronounced Kalu, Udeogu and Slok guilty.

In his sentence to Kalu, Justice Idris said: “On counts one, two, three, and four, you are sentenced to five years imprisonment on each count. On counts six to 11, you are sentenced to three years imprisonment each. On counts 23 to 33 you are sentenced to three years imprisonment on each count, while on counts 34 to 38, you are sentenced to 12 years imprisonment each. On count 39, you are sentenced to five years imprisonment.”

For the second defendant, (Udeogu) the court sentenced him to three years imprisonment on counts 23 to 33, and 10 years imprisonment on counts 34 to 38. He was also sentenced to five years imprisonment on counts 39.

For the Company, Slok Nigeria Ltd, the court ordered that it be wound up and all its assets forfeited to the Federal Government.

The court held that the terms of imprisonment shall run concurrently.

Kalu and others were on October 31, 2016 arraigned, wherein they pleaded not guilty. The charges were amended on July 16, 2018.

In May 2018, Justice Idris who sat as trial judge in the charge against Kalu, was elevated to the Court of Appeal. He, however, continued to conduct trial following a fiat from the Appeal Court President authorising him to conclude the case.

Following accelerated hearing, Idris concluded trial of the defendants in August 2019 and adjourned the case for adoption of addresses. On October 22, both the prosecution and defence counsels adopted their written submissions before the court, and Justice Idris consequently reserved judgment until December 2, 2019.

On December 2, judgment day was shifted to today.

#Newsworthy…

Just in – Court forfeits kalu’s properties.

…orders houses and assets forfeited to FG

Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court Lagos has ordered ex-governor, Orji Uzor Kalu’s company, Slok Nigeria Limited, be wounded up and all its assets forfeited to the Federal government.

The order came as part of the 12 years imprisonment handed over to the ex-governor for N7.65 billion fraud he perpetrated while he was governor of Abia state. He was found guilty of using his company to launder money from the state coffers.

#Newsworthy…

Nigerians react to Court’s decision on kalu.

…reactions from Nigerians state that ‘na audio conviction’

Actress Uche Jombo and other Nigerians are reacting to the Federal High Court in Lagos’s verdict sentencing former Abia state governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, to 12 years imprisonment for N7.6 billion fraud which he allegedly carried out when he was governor of Abia state from 1999 to 2007.

While some applaud the EFCC for trying the former governor, others are of the opinion that the sentencing is fake. They argue that Kalu will appeal the sentencing at the Supreme court and it will be upturned.

See reactions below

Uche Jombo, other Nigerians react to Orji Uzor Kalu

Uche Jombo, other Nigerians react to Orji Uzor Kalu

Uche Jombo, other Nigerians react to Orji Uzor Kalu

Uche Jombo, other Nigerians react to Orji Uzor Kalu
Uche Jombo, other Nigerians react to Orji Uzor Kalu
Uche Jombo, other Nigerians react to Orji Uzor Kalu
Uche Jombo, other Nigerians react to Orji Uzor Kalu
Uche Jombo, other Nigerians react to Orji Uzor Kalu
Uche Jombo, other Nigerians react to Orji Uzor Kalu
Uche Jombo, other Nigerians react to Orji Uzor Kalu
Uche Jombo, other Nigerians react to Orji Uzor Kalu
Uche Jombo, other Nigerians react to Orji Uzor Kalu
Uche Jombo, other Nigerians react to Orji Uzor Kalu
Uche Jombo, other Nigerians react to Orji Uzor Kalu
Uche Jombo, other Nigerians react to Orji Uzor Kalu

#Newsworthy…

Court sentence kalu to 12 years imprisonment.

…begs not to be handcuffed in public

Justice Idris Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Lagos, has sentenced Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu, to 12 years imprisonment after declaring the former Abia state governor guilty of N7.1bn fraud charges levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The Judge declared Kalu and his co-defendants guilty of the 39 counts filed against them by the EFCC.

While being escorted out of court, Kalu, who is the Senate’s Chief Whip, begged the prison warders not to handcuff him in public.

“Where are you taking us to now? Please don’t handcuff me. I will follow you.” he said

#Newsworthy…

Kalu celebrates with Methodist Archbishop Olawuyi Of Lagos …

Former governor of Abia state and Chief Whip of the Senate, Dr. Orji Kalu has congratulated the Archbishop of Methodist Church of Nigeria, Diocese of Lagos, Most Rev. Isaac Olawuyi on his 60th birthday.

Kalu described the religious leader as a role model not only to members of the Methodist Church but Christian community at large.

The former governor, while extolling the virtues of the celebrant, commended the efforts of spiritual leaders in promoting peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.

In a goodwill message to the celebrator, Kalu prayed to God to strengthen Archbishop Olawuyi in his endeavours.

The letter read: “It is with happiness that I write to convey my warm greetings to you and your family on your 60th birthday.

“Sir, having sustained a close relationship with you over the years, I cherish like many other people, your selfless leadership qualities as exemplified in different capacities in the service of God and humanity.

“Under your watch, the Archdiocese of Lagos, Methodist Church of Nigeria, has witnessed robust growth. I acknowledge and celebrate your contributions to christianity beyond Nigeria. Sir, as you attain this milestone, it is my prayer that God will continue to strengthen you in all your endeavours”.

He wished Archbishop Olawuyi continued success in the service of God and humanity.

#Newsworthy…