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Kalu’s bail application not tenable – EFCC

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

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday opposed a bail application filed by the convicted former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu.

Kalu, who is a serving senator, was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for N7.65billion fraud by Justice Muhammed Idris of the Federal High Court, Lagos on December 5.

He filed the bail application on Tuesday, saying he was battling “serious health issues that the medical facilities in the prison cannot handle.”

The ex-governor urged the court to grant him bail from the Ikoyi Custodial Centre pending the determination of an appeal against his conviction.

However, EFCC counsel, Mr. RotimI Jacobs (SAN), opposed the bail application.

He said: “Although bail is generally a right of an accused as guaranteed by the Constitution, it is not a right available to a convict because the presumption of innocence had crystallised into guilt and conviction.”

READ ALSO: Kalu seeks bail, says his health, constituency will suffer if he’s kept in prison

He said that such a bail could be granted in a situation where the term of imprisonment would have elapsed before determination of the appeal.

Jacobs argued that that was not the situation with Kalu’s case.

On the ex-governor’s health condition, Jacobs said that there was no recent medical report to show his state of health, arguing that the medical report tendered in his case was done more than a year ago.

The EFCC counsel added that the request by Kalu to be released on bail so as to seek a traditional medical attention was not tenable, as visitors were allowed into the custodial centre.

Jacobs added: “He says he needs his herbalist to treat him. But he has not said that his herbalist came to the prison and was not allowed to see him.

“In one breath, the applicant is saying that he wants to be released on health grounds while in another breath, he is saying that as a senator, he needs to be released on bail so as to carry out his official functions.”

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