Court temporarily stops re-trial of former governor Kalu over alleged N7.1bn fraud

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja, on Monday, ordered that the re-arraignment of former Abia State governor, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu in an alleged N7.1 billion money laundering charges be put on hold pending the resolution of the legality of the retrial charges against him.

The judge while ruling in an ex-parte application also granted leave to Kalu, who is now a senator representing Abia North Senatorial District, to challenge the legality of his retrial in the same charges.

The judge agreed that Kalu had placed sufficient materials of value before the court to enable him to secure permission for judicial review of his retrial in charges in which he had been tried, convicted and spent some months in Kuje prison in Abuja.

Justice Ekwo also granted Kalu permission to apply for an order of perpetual injunction against the Federal Government through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to prohibit his retrial so as not to be made to suffer double jeopardy.

Consequently, the judge gave Kalu seven days within which to file and serve on EFCC all processes he intends to use to challenge the legality of the trial and adjourned till February 23, 2021, for mention into the matter.

Kalu had asked the court to prohibit the EFCC from retrying him on the same alleged N7.1 billion money laundering charges against him.

He contended that having been tried once by EFCC, convicted and sentenced in the same charges FHC/ABJ/CR/56/ 2007,  it will amount to double jeopardy for him if he is allowed to be subjected to a fresh trial on same charge.

 

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