Connect with us


Supreme Court nullifies conviction of ex-Abia gov, Orji Kalu, orders fresh trial



Alleged N7.6bn fraud: Court revokes Orji Kalu's bail

Reprieve came the way of the former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu as the Supreme Court on Friday nullified his trial alongside others.

The former governor, alongside others had been convicted in December and sentenced for an alleged N7.1bn fraud.

It would be recalled that Justice Mohammed Idris, who had been elevated to the Court of Appeal bench, returned to the Federal High Court in Lagos to complete the case which started in 2007, sentencing Kalu to 12 years imprisonment for the fraud he allegedly perpetrated during his tenure as Abia State governor.

Read also: COVID-19: Nigerian govt admits its self-isolation policy has failed

However, the apex court in a unanimous judgment on Friday led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, nullified the entire trial on the grounds that the constitution does not permit a judge elevated to a higher court to return to a lower court to conclude a part-heard case.

According  to Justice Ejembi Eko, who delivered the lead judgment, the trial was unconstitutional because  of the provision of section 396(7) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, on which the then President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa (retd), relied on to authorise Justice Idris to return to the Court of Appeal to conclude the trial.

The Supreme  Court panel unanimously directed the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to assign the case to another judge of the court for the trial to commence afresh.

Join the conversation


Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism

Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.

As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.

If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.

Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.

Donate Now