‘N7.1bn fraud’: Suit to stop Kanu’s retrial for adoption July 2

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja Wednesday slated legal processes filed by parties to stop the retrial of the Senate Chief Whip and former Abia state governor, Orji Uzor Kalu for July 2, for adoption.

The alleged N7.1billion fraud case is currently before Justice Inyang Ekwo who adjourned the matter for adoption at a resumed sitting on Wednesday.

Kalu, Blueprint reports, was granted leave to challenge the legality of the retrial in the same charges in February.

Counsel to the former governor, Prof. Awa Kalu (SAN), had told the court that the respondents had served on him their counter affidavits.

Reacting, counsel to the 1st respondent (EFCC) Oluwaleke Atolagbe; George Ukaegbu representing the 2nd respondent, and K.C Nwufor for the 3rd, all admitted having filed and exchanged processes.

In a short ruling, Justice Ekwo said since all parties have “joined issues,” the court has taken over control of the case.

Subsequently, the court adjourned to July 2, for adoption.

In the suit, Kalu a senator representing Abia North is specifically seeking an order of court prohibiting the federal government, through the EFCC, its officers, servants, others, agents, privies and any other person or bodies deriving authority from the Federal Republic of Nigeria, from retrying him on charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/56/2007 between FRN vs Orji Kalu & 2 ors, or any other charge based on the same facts de novo, there being no extant judgment and ruling of a competent court in Nigeria mandating same.

Kalu is asking the Federal High Court to restrain the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from retrying him on the same alleged N7.1b money laundering charges against him.

He contended that having been tried once by EFCC, convicted and sentenced in the same charges FHC/ABJ/CR/56/ 2007, it will amount to double jeopardy for him if he is allowed to be subjected to a fresh trial on same charge.