Orji Kalu Asks Court to Strike Out Name from Alleged N7.1bn Fraud Suit

Alex Enumah in Abuja

Senator Orji Kalu, has asked a Federal High Court, Abuja, to strike out his name from the N7.1billion fraud charge filed against him and two others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Kalu’s request was predicated on a judgment delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo, last year, stopping his trial in the same charge wherein he was tried, convicted and jailed.

He also sought from the court an order compelling the EFCC to remove restrictions placed on his company’s bank account.

The EFCC based on the judgment of the Supreme Court had sought to rearraign kalu, his company and one Jones Udeogu, who was Commissioner of Finance, when Kalu was Abia State governor.

However, the former governor urged the court to remove his name from the charges based on an earlier judgment, which barred the anti-graft agency from retrying him on the alleged offence.

Kalu, who is the Chief Whip of the Senate representing Abia North senatorial district, submitted that having been freed, it behooved him to apply to the court to formally strike out his name and Slok from the charge sheet.

Meanwhile, the scheduled re-arraignment of 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 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, said they needed time to reply.

In view of the developments, the trial judge, Ekwo adjourned with the consensus of parties to March 10, for hearing of Kalu and Slok’s applications as well as EFCC’s motion on notice seeking transfer of the matter to Lagos.

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