Alleged N7.65bn fraud: Court to deliver judgement in Orji Kalu’s trial Monday

The Federal High Court in Lagos will deliver judgement in the alleged N7.65bn fraud trial of former Governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu on Monday.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) brought Kalu, his former Commissioner for Finance, Ude Udeogo, and a Company, Slok Nigeria Ltd, before the court on the alleged offences.

The EFCC had on October 31, 2016, charged Kalu with 34 counts of the alleged fraud.

The charges, however, were subsequently amended and the charges increased to 39 counts.

Kalu and others pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bails.

Tribune Online reported that in the charge, the defendants were alleged to have committed the offence between August 2001 and October 2005.

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Kalu was alleged to have utilised his company to retain the sum of N200 million.

The sum is alleged to have formed part of funds illegally derived from the coffers of the Abia State Government.

In one of the counts, his company, Slok Nig. Ltd. and one Emeka Abone who is said to be at large were also alleged to have retained in the company’s account the sum of N200 million, on behalf of the first accused.

In counts one to ten, the defendants were alleged to have retained about N2.5 billion in different accounts, which funds were said to belong to the Abia State Government.

Cumulatively, in all the counts, the defendants were alleged to have diverted over N7.2 billion from the Abia State government’s treasury, during Kalu’s tenure as governor.

The offence is said to have contravened the provisions of sections 15(6), 16, and 21 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2005.

It also contravenes the provisions of the Money Laundering Act of 1995 as amended by the amendment Act No.9 of 2002 and section 477 of the Criminal Code Act, Laws of the Federation, 1990.

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