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Lagos court adjourns Orji Kalu’s N7.6bn fraud trial indefinitely

Lagos court adjourns Orji Kalu’s N7.6bn fraud trial indefinitely

- Justice Muhammed Idris says it might be impossible for the defence team to conclude its defence in the trial a former governor of Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu

- Prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, argues against the adjourning of the trial of the former governor on the ground that the case had been previously adjourned for the defence to open its case

- Presidency summons labour leaders as strike continues across Nigeria

The trial of a former governor of Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu, over his alleged involvement in a N7.6 billion fraud has been adjourned indefinitely by the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.

The ex-governor is being tried alongside his former commissioner for finance, Ude Udeogo, and a company, Slok Nigeria Limited, on an amended 39-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N7.6bn.

Before the case was adjourned, Justice Muhammed Idris informed the court during hearing at the resumed trial that the fiat issued to him by the president of the Court of Appeal would expire on September 28, 2018.

The judge, who was elevated to the appellate court sometime in June 2018, was issued a fiat to conclude some of the criminal cases that are before him by the end of September 2018.

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He disclosed that in line with the ongoing nation-wide strike, it might be impossible for the defence team to conclude its defence.

Counsel to the first defendant, Awa Kalu, in his submission, urged the court to adjourn the matter on the grounds it might be impossible to conclude the trial in view of the underlying issues.

Counsels to the second and third defendants, Solo Akuma, and Nwofo, agreed with the submissions of Kalu.

However, prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, opposed the applications of the defence team, arguing that case had been previously adjourned for the defence to open its case.

But Justice Idris, in a short ruling, held that it might seem impossible for the defence to finish.

He said in line with the ongoing strike, the matter will be adjourned indefinitely.

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Meanwhile, the presidency on Thursday, September 27, in Abuja reportedly summoned the leadership of the organised labour to an emergency meeting with a view to ending the ongoing nationwide industrial action.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the chief of staff to the president, Malam Abba Kyari, presided over the closed door meeting with organized labour led by the leader of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba.

The NLC had on Wednesday, September 26, directed all its members and affiliate unions to commence a nationwide strike following alleged failure, of the federal government to reconvene the meeting of the tripartite national minimum wage committee to enable it to conclude its assignment.

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Source: Legit.ng

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