The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will appeal the ruling by Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court stopping the retrial of former Abia Governor, Uzor Kalu.
Kalu was serving a 12-year jail term for N7.1billion fraud when the Supreme Court, in a May 8, 2020, ruling on an appeal by Kalu’s co-defendant, Ude Udeogu, nullified the proceedings leading to their conviction.
The Supreme Court ordered a retrial at the Federal High Court. After his release from Kuje Correctional Centre, Kalu filed an application before the Federal High Court in Abuja to stop his retrial.
Justice Ekwo granted the Senator’s request on the grounds that the apex court’s judgment did not order a retrial.
The judge cited Section 36 (9) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) and Section 283 (2) of the ACJA (Administration of Criminal Justice Act) that “no person can be retried on the offence upon which he has been convicted”.
Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC Head of Media said the judge erred in his ruling as Section 36(9) of the 1999 constitution is applicable only where the previous judgment was by a court of competent jurisdiction.
“In this case, the apex court had in the said judgment described the process that led to the conviction of Kalu as a nullity because the Judge came from the Court of Appeal to decide the matter”, Uwujaren noted.
The EFCC insists that the court was wrong in its ruling that the Supreme Court did not order the retrial of Kalu.
“It amounts to cherry-picking for Kalu to profit from the decision of the Apex court nullifying the conviction of his co defendant, Ude Udeagu but is not prepared to face the burden of a retrial”, the spokesman added.
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