By Amechi Idumuebor, For Agenda Watchdog, May 8, 2020
(AGENDAWATCHDOG) – Reprieve and relief both came the way of Orji Uzor kalu, the embattled former Governor of Abia State, as the Supreme Court, on Friday, May 8, 2020, nullified the initial judgement that had convicted and jailed him for 12 years for purportedly stealing about N7.1billion from the exchequers of the Abia State Government during his tenure as Chief Executive Officer of the state.
Consequent to the inconsistencies that accompanied the first judgement that resulted in the conviction of Kalu, his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited and former Director of Finance in Abia State, Jones Udeogu by a Federal High Court in Lagos, the Supreme Court’s panel of 7 judges led by Justice Amina Augie submitted that the decision of the Federal High Court in Lagos was ultra vires as the presiding judge had no jurisdiction on the matter.
According to the apex court, the trail judge, Justice Liman, despite the authorization issued him by the Appeal Court lacked the authority to sit as a high court judge, having been promoted to the court of appeal.
Therefore, the Supreme Court voided the first judgement and ordered a retrial.