Tuesday, June 2, 2020 9:00 am
A Federal High Court sitting in Lago will today commence the hearing of application filed by team of lawyers on behalf of former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu to secure his release from prison.
Orji is serving a 12-year jail term at the Correctional Service Centre in Kuje, Abuja for looting N7.65billion belonging to the Abia State Government.
But the Supreme Court has declared that the Judge who sentenced him to 12 years imprisonment for the theft had in 2019 had no jurisdiction to do so.
The former Governor now a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria hired a 12-man team of lawyers, including six Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN)s, to secure his release.
The application pending before Justice Mohammed Liman was filed on May 12 asking the court to nullify his conviction was fixed for today for hearing.
Justice Mohammed Idris who was elevated to court of appeal on December 5, 2019, convicted Kalu and a former Director of Finance in the Abia State Government House, Ude Jones Udeogu of the offence of fraud.
Udeogu was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
However, following Udeogu’s appeal, the Supreme Court on May 8,2020 declared that the fiat issued to Justice Idris to conclude the case after he had been elevated to the Court of Appeal was “a nullity”.
The apex court set aside Idris’ verdict “as it relates to the appellant (Udeogu)’s. conviction
Consequently the court ordered that Udeogu should be released and the retrial of his case.
However, Kalu who was not part of the appeal is now contending that no legal basis exists for his continued incarceration following the Supreme Court’s judgment which declared the whole trial a nullity and freed Udeogu.