THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday arraigned former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, and two others before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
Kalu, his ex-aide, Jones Udeogo and company, Slok Nigeria Limited, were arraigned on a 34-count charge. Before the arraignment, Kalu and others objected to their re-arraignment, urging the court to await the pending appeal by Slok before the Supreme Court.
The trial Judge, Justice Anwuri Chikere, rejected the defendants’ objection and ordered that the charges be read to them. In the amended charge, they were accused of diverting about N3.2 billion from the Abia State Government’s treasury when he held office as the governor.
They, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The court also granted them bail on the terms attached to the bail granted them on April 30, 2008 when they were earlier arraigned before Justice Adamu Bello (now retired). The court had consequently adjourned till December 6, for the commencement of trial. Kalu and others were initially arraigned in 2007 before Justice Bello, then of the Federal High Court, Abuja. They also pleaded not guilty to the charges. Counsel to the ex-governor, Awa Kalu, had urged the court to allow them remain on the bail earlier granted them. Prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs did not object to the position canvassed by the defence, but said he was interested in the trial. – Guardian
— Sep 28, 2016 @ 16:30 GMT