Alleged 7.65b fraud: Court okays Kalu’s move to challenge retrial

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A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday permitted former Abia State Governor Orji Uzo Kalu to challenge Federal Government’s plan to reopen his trial over the N7.65 billion fraud case involving him, his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited, and a former Director of Finance in the state, Jones Udeogu.

Following the May 8, 2020 judgment of the Supreme Court, in an appeal filed by Udeogu, voiding the proceedings leading to their conviction and sentencing, and ordering a retrial, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court re-assigned the case for a fresh trial.

When the case was first mentioned before Justice Inyang Ekwo on February 2 this year, the prosecuting agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) asked that the trial venue be moved to Lagos, where it was earlier conducted.

On the defence’s side, lawyer to Kalu, Awa Kalu (SAN), argued a motion ex-parte for permission to challenge the legitimacy of the retrial, claiming his client would be subjected to double jeopardy should he be tried again on the same charge.

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