N7.1bn Fraud: EFCC Sues to Move Orji Kalu’s Trial to Lagos
- Justice Iyang Ekwo of the federal high court in Abuja has resorted to adjourning the application of the EFCC until May
- Counsel to the EFCC, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, says the Abuja court does not have the jurisdiction to trial Kalu based on territorial differences
- Kalu and other co-associate were also included in the application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
Counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed an application to the Federal High Court in Abuja to transfer Orji Uzor Kalu’s N7.1 billion alleged fraud case to Lagos, Punch reports.
Oluwaleke Atolagbe, who serves as counsel to the EFCC, filed the application marked FHC/ABJ/CR/56/2007 for Kalu to be retried in the Lagos state high court, Legit.ng gathered.
Atolagbe’s application was based on five grounds and one of those is that the Abuja division of the court does not have the obligatory stance to trial the accused in the charges.
This means there is a territorial barrier resulting from some of the charges pressed against Kalu and his associates.
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Atolagbe application refers to the statutory provision stated in sections 18, 19, 22, and 45 of the Federal High Court Act 2010 and section 93 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.
What the court said
During a judicial sitting on Thursday, March 10, at the Federal High Court in Abuja, presiding judge Justice Iyang Ekwo stated that he would not proceed with the application due to the forthcoming Easter holidays.
However, the application was adjourned for hearing until Tuesday, May 17 to determine if the application will be granted or not.
The embattled former governor of Abia was represented by Awa Kalu while Solo Akuma and Goddy Uche appeared as counsel Jones Udeogu and Slok Nigeria Limited respectively.
2023: Northern group urges Kalu to run for president
Despite Kalu's predicament in numerous fraud charges, the former Abia state has proven to stay relevant in the political scene.
Legit.ng reported that a norther group known as the Uzor Kalu Support Group (UKSUG) called on Kalu to run for presidency in 2023.
The group while stating their reason for the endorsement said that Kalu had great influence and acceptance all over the country.
Orji Kalu secures major endorsement for 2023 presidency
Similarly, the embattled Senator Kalu also secured a major endorsement for the 2023 presidential race.
A pro-democracy group under the aegis of Political Movement Alliance (PMA) said Kalu is their choice for the 2023 presidency.
Akinpelumi Bode, the national secretary of PMA said that the leadership of the group, made up of 36 state coordinators, wholeheartedly endorsed Orji to take over from President Muhammadu Buhari.