The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has asked the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to transfer the corruption trial of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu to the Lagos Division of the court.
Counsel for the anti-graft agency, Chile Okorooma, told Justice Inyang Ekwo, on Tuesday, that the EFCC had written to the Chief Judge for the transfer of the case from Abuja to Lagos where the former governor was tried, convicted and sentence to 12 year jail term for diversion of about 7.1 billion funds of the state.
“My Lord, the prosecution had on January 20, written to the Chief Judge for the transfer of this case to the Lagos division of this court,” he said.
He argued that the offense was initially tried in Lagos and urged the judge to adjourn the case “till we await the decision of the Chief Judge.”
“We cannot arraign him here,” he added.
But Justice Ekwo queried why he did not forward the same letter to him, being the presiding judge in the case.
Okorooma replied that though the EFCC did not copy the same letter to him, he was expecting “the Deputy Registrar to bring it to your notice.”
Meanwhile, Kalu’s lawyer, Prof. Awa Kalu, filed a motion expressing “grievances” and the “the journey(trial) which took the applicant to jail and then out.”
Though, when speaking with newsmen, Awa Kalu was silent about what the motion was but he disclosed that if the EFCC was seeking a transfer of the case, then it should be shifted to Abia State where Kalu served as governor, not Lagos.
In his ruling, Ekwo adjourned to 7 June, 2021 for report on the transfer letter sent to the Chief Judge, Justice John Tsoho, by the prosecution.
Recall that the Supreme Court, had on May 8, 2020, quashed the sentencing of the former governor of Abia State, for lack of jurisdiction of the then trial judge, Mohammed Idris.
It stressed that the judge was not supposed to sit on the case having being elevated to the Appeal Court.
The ex-governor bagged a 12 year jail term after the Lagos High court found him guilty of corruption.