BREAKING: Supreme Court Sets Aside Former Governor Orji Kalu’s 12-Year Jail Term Conviction
The apex court, in a unanimous decision by a seven-man panel of Justices led by Justice Amina Augie, held that the Federal High Court in Lagos acted without jurisdiction when it convicted Kalu, his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited and former Director of Finance in Abia State, Jones Udeogu.
It held that trial Justice Mohammed Liman was no longer a judge of the Federal High Court as at the time he sat and delivered the judgement that convicted the defendants for allegedly stealing about N7.1billion from Abia state treasury.
According to the Supreme Court, Justice Liman, having been elevated to the Court of Appeal before then, lacked the powers to return to sit as a High Court Judge.
It held that the Fiat that was issued to him by the Court of Appeal President pursuant to section 396 subsection 7 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act was unconstitutional.
Consequently, the apex court vacated the judgement that convicted the defendants and ordered a fresh trial of the defendants.
The former Abia state governor is currently the Chief Whip of the Senate and has been in prison since the High Court judgment that found him guilty of corruption while he served as governor.