Breaking: It’s an ambush; We are set for immediate retrial Orji Uzor Kalu – EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has vowed to commence the immediate retrial of Senator Orji Kalu after his 2019 conviction was set aside by the Supreme Court on Friday.

The former Abia governor was convicted and sentenced to 12-imprisonment for embezzling N7.1bn from Abia State treasury.

The Supreme Court ordered retrial of the case on the ground that Justice Mohammed Liman was no longer a Judge in the Federal High Court at the time he handled the case.

EFCC, in a statement by Head, Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, described the apex court’s verdict as unfortunate. According to the commission, the ruling was a “technical ambush against the trial of the former governor.”

The statement reads: “The attention of the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission,  EFCC,  has been drawn to the judgment of the Supreme Court nullifying the trial of a 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 and ordering their fresh trial at the lower court.

“The apex court based its verdict  on the grounds that Justice Mohammed Idris, who convicted Kalu and others had been elevated to the Court of Appeal before the judgment and returned to the lower court to deliver the judgment which it considered as illegal.

“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. 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.”

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