Ex-gov Orji Kalu sentenced to 133 yrs in prison over N7.2 b fraud
Kalu who was said to be visibly shaken as he was being led out of the court by the Correctional Service officers Thursday said ‘2023, here we come’.
Kalu’s associate, Udeogu, was sentenced to 10 years in prison while the company which was used in committing the fraud, Slok Limited, was ordered to be wound up and all the assets forfeited to the Federal Government.
The case began in 2007, 12 years ago, when they were first arraigned for the offences but before a different judge.
Justice Mohammed Idris also convicted and sentenced the former Kalu, to 12 years imprisonment, while his co- convict a former Director of Finance in Abia State Government House, Udeh Jones Udeogu, was also sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
Justice Idris held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) proved that the convicts conspired and divert N7.65bn from the coffers of the Abia State.
The court found him and his co-defendants guilty of the entire 39 counts filed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Justice Idris sentenced Kalu, to five years imprisonment each from counts one to 11 and three years each from counts 23 to 33.
He was also sentenced to 12 years each, from counts 34 to 38 and five years on count 39.
The total sentence is 133 years imprisonment, but he would be serving 12 years.
The Judge said that the sentence is to run concurrently.
Justice Mohammed said that money laundry offence is a crime against humanity.
He said that the offence of money laundry is anti-human and it is one of the dangerous offences in the world.
Judgment temporary setback – Kalu’s lawyer
Meanwhile one of Kalu’s lawyers, Victor Etie, Esq has faulted the judgement, saying it was “unknown to law and cannot stand.”
His words :“This is just a temporal distraction from his (Kalu’s) legislative duty, we are challenging it.
“We are sure of victory just like the Tribunal case. The ruling cannot stand.
“How can you say a company (Slok) that has been in existence before he became governor should be wind up? Does it make sense?.”
On the direct legal implications of the judgment on Kalu’s seat as senator and office as Chief Whip, the lawyer said the positions would not be affected.
“Kalu remains a Senator and Senate Chief Whip, the position and office as Senator are not affected”, he said.
Kalu’s lawyer vowed to appeal the judgment and follow it up to the Supreme Court.Steve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.