Former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu of Abia State has suffered setback in his bid to stop his prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over N7.65 billion corruption allegation.
National Daily learned that the Court of Appeal after taking briefs from counsels of both the appellant and the respondents dismissed the no-case submission filed by in response to the N7.65 billion corruption allegation charges filed against him by the EFCC.
Justice M.L. Garba, in the lead judgment by the Court of Appeal was of the view that Justice Mohammed Idris, then of the Federal High Court in Lagos, was right to have on July 31, 2018 dismissed Kalu’s no-case submission and ordered him to commence his defence.
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The appeal court also dismissed the appeals filed by Kalu’s co-defendants – Slok Nigeria Limited and Ude Udeogu – challenging the jurisdiction of Justice Idris to continue hearing the case after he was elevated from the Federal High Court to the Court of Appeal.
The court held that contrary to the appellants’ contention, Section 396(7) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, which empowers a high judge to continue to hear a part-heard criminal matter after being elevated to the Court of Appeal, did not offend the constitution.
The Court of Appeal, therefore, ordered the defendants to return to the high court to put in their defence.