Group kicks as court defer judgement over Kalu’s alleged N7.6bn fraud trial
• Urges Buhari intervention for neutrality in dispensation of Judgment
A Group under the umbrella of “Abia Network Against Corruption”, on Tuesday, kicked against the sudden change in the date fixed for judgment in the trial of the former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu over the alleged N7.6bn fraud levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission(EFCC).
Addressing newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, the Convener of the Group, Chief Igwe Onyeka Igwe, who said that the group was not out to interfere in the judicial proceedings declared that it was however curious as to what “may have informed the change in date for the judgment.”
According to him, “we and other lovers of democracy were glad when Justice Idris of the Federal high court fixed December 2 for judgement in the over 12 years long trial of the former governor.
“As law-abiding Nigerians, we had patiently waited this long because we have implicit confidence in the judiciary and we believe that one-day justice must surely come.
“But most taxpayers in the state and other democrats who have patiently waited this long were however disappointed on Monday when the news filtered in that the judgement has been shifted to Thursday, December five, no reason was given for the change in date.
” It’s also more worrisome to hear that the same Senator Kalu who by law (criminal trial) ought to have been physically present in court on Monday if the judgment was to come was reported to have travelled outside the country on an official engagement.
“It means he was either privy to the shift in judgment date or he has other information to his disposal which we do not have
“Such person standing trial of such monumental allegation should have been under security watch.”
The Group recalled that the same court had last year, ordered the seizure of senator Kalu travel documents pending the determination of the suit and wondered he managed to make his foreign trip again.
According to the group, “we were again taken aback when the same politician was reported to have gone abroad for a fantom surgery.
“We were told there would be no sacred cow in the fight against corruption, but the trial of Chief Kalu and the intrigues that may have characterised it is beginning to suggest otherwise.
” We support the anti-corruption crusade of President Mohammadu Buhari, and we wish to draw the attention of Mr President to the seemingly brazen plot to army wist the judiciary in the trial of Chief Kalu.
“We still see the outcome of the trial of Senator Kalu as a litmus test to the judiciary. The judicial as an important organ of government should rise up to the occasion.
“We are aware of the plot by some chieftains of a particular political party to influence the judgment here as reported by a famous online newspaper.
“The question here is could the sudden change of date in the judgment part of the alleged plot to frustrate the proceeding, we watching, Nigerians and others are also watching. We want justice and not only judgment.”