Jailed former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu has lost his bid to overturn his conviction by a Federal High Court, Lagos as the Court of Appeal, sitting in Abuja dismissed his appeal for lack of merit.
His company, Slok Nigeria Limited filed the appeal on the ground that trial court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter, urging the appellate court to set aside the judgment.
It would be recalled that Kalu, Slok and a former Director of Finance in Abia State, Jones Udeogo; were convicted on December 4 for a N7.1bn fraud in a criminal charge brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice Mohammed Liman.
The appellants are Slok and Udeogo while the respondents are the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Federal Republic of Nigeria, the EFCC and Uzor-Kalu.
The three-member panel, in a judgment prepared and read by Justice Olabisi Ige on Wednesday, dismissed the appeal for lacking in merit.
According to the court, section 98(3) and (4) of Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 were not applicable to the appellants’ case.
It also held that petition must relate to allegation of wrong doing by the trial judge and that the letter written by the EFCC in this case could not be said to be a petition.
The judge said: “Nothing is perversed with the decision of the trial court. The complaint of the appellants is a non-issue.
“If a court has a jurisdiction/power, the fact of doing so under a wrong law is no reason to set it aside. The rights of the appellants were not infringed”, adding that the appellants did not show mala fide by the chief judge and EFCC.
The court further ruled that the transfer of the case did not curtail the Appellants right, adding that there was no element of forum-shopping in the case.
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