Alleged N7.1 Billion Fraud: EFCC asks Charm Court to nullify judgment stopping Orji Kalu’s retrial

alleged-n7.1-billion-fraud:-efcc-asks-charm-court-to-nullify-judgment-stopping-orji-kalu’s-retrial

The Economic and Monetary Crimes Rate (EFCC) has entreated the Court of Charm, Abuja to nullify the Federal Excessive Court ruling that stopped the retrial of Orji Kalu, a pale governor of Abia Speak, over a N7 billion fraud case.

This is contained in a peek of enchantment filed by EFCC in opposition to the September 29, 2021 judgment of Inyang Ekwo of the Federal Excessive Court in Abuja prohibiting the price from retrying Mr Kalu.

The rate similarly filed a separate peek of enchantment in appreciate of Mr Kalu’s firm, Slok Nigeria Restricted, which Mr Ekwo also shielded from retrial.

Beforehand convicted of the charges, Mr Kalu, a serving senator representing Abia North, used to be already serving a 12-365 days prison term for the offences when the Supreme Court, on Would possibly additionally 8, 2020, nullified the lawsuits main to his and his co-defendants’ conviction.

The Supreme Court’s judgment delivered on an enchantment by Mr Kalu’s co-defendant, Ude Udeogu, also ordered a retrial.

The apex court docket anchored its resolution on the grounds that the trial, the previous trial used to be unconstitutional because the trial decide, Mohammed Idris, lacked the jurisdiction to behavior the lawsuits and bid judgement after he had been elevated to the Court of Charm.

Mr Kalu, the incumbent Chief Whip of the Nigerian Senate, obtained out of detention heart on the apex court docket’s judgment by citing it in an utility he filed prior to A.M Liman of the Federal Excessive Court in Lagos, who promptly quashed his conviction and ordered his starting up.

However as quickly as EFCC made a pass to keep in power the apex court docket’s uncover for a retrial, Mr Kalu and his firm mercurial filed separate functions prior to Mr Ekwo, to whom the felony case used to be reassigned, to discontinue their retrial.

Ruling on the separate functions filed by Mr Kalu and his firm, Mr Ekwo held on September 29, that the candidates can’t be prosecuted afresh in the absence of any particular uncover directed at them.

Mr Ekwo insisted in the judgments that it used to be Mr Udeogu who appealed to the Supreme Court that used to be ordered to be prosecuted, and not Mr Kalu or his firm.

EFCC appeals

Displeased with the selections, the EFCC, by procedure of the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, a Senior Recommend of Nigeria, entreated the Court of Charm in Abuja to keep apart the judgement of the lower court docket and push apart the conditions filed by Mr Kalu and Slok Nigeria Ltd.

The glory of enchantment in opposition to the judgment delivered in Mr Kalu’s favour has 9 grounds of enchantment whereas the one in opposition to the ruling intriguing Slok Nigeria Ltd has seven grounds.


Grounds of enchantment

Within the two separate notices of enchantment dated October 11, 2021, Mr Jacobs faulted Mr Ekwo’s reasoning which suggested that Mr Kalu’s retrial would quantity to double jeopardy.

“The lower court docket excluded basically the most relevant proof prior to it in uncover to protect the important respondent from felony prosecution,” the EFCC said in its particulars of error faulting Mr Ekwo’s ruling.

The anti-graft agency argued that the decide erred in legislation when he, in one breath, agreed that the earlier trial, conviction and sentencing of Mr Kalu used to be nullified, however in any other breath, held that a retrial would subject the pale governor to double jeopardy.

Questioning the accurate reasoning of the decide, the EFCC argued: “That the plea of autrefois acquit and autrefois convict (beforehand acquitted and beforehand convicted) and the precept of jeopardy availed the important respondent (Kalu) and that the re-trial of the respondent would quantity to the violation of the provisions of Piece 36 (9) and (10) of Structure Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Piece 238 of the Administrator of Prison Justice Act, 2015,” used to be inappropriate.

“Having found that the conviction the important respondent (Kalu) used to be delivered by a court docket without competent jurisdiction, it is absurd for the lower court docket to go from the particular provisions of section 36 (9) of the 1999 Structure (as amended) and Piece 238 of the ACJA, 2015 and then observe the principles of double jeopardy and autrefois convict.

“The lower court docket didn’t take into chronicle the selections of the Supreme Court and the Court of Charm cited prior to it to the plot that the doctrine of double jeopardy or autrefois convict is handiest appropriate to a resolution delivered by a court docket of competent jurisdiction.”

Equally, EFCC, by procedure of its lawyer, picked holes in Mr Ekwo’s uncover prohibiting the federal authorities and its businesses from retrying Mr Kalu and his company on the the same case.

Mr Jacobs important: “The proof prior to the lower court docket used to be that the Supreme Court, in enchantment No: SC.622C/2019 between Ude Jones Udeogu v. FRN had nullified the lawsuits conducted by Hon. Justice M.B Idris that ended in the convictions and sentence of the complete respondents in this enchantment.

“However, it used to be handiest Ude Jones Udeogu that used to be the appellant. Because it used to be a joint trial of the complete respondents, the important respondent, by his motion filed on Would possibly additionally 15, 2020 prayed the Federal Excessive Court presided over by Justice A. M. Liman that the lawsuits that ended in his conviction be nullified on the ground that Hon. Justice M.B Idris, JCA lacks jurisdiction to bid the judgment per the resolution of the Supreme Court.”

He extra challenged the trial court docket for keeping that Mr Kalu could presumably not be tried again by the Federal Excessive Court on the grounds that the Supreme Court didn’t uncover his re-trial.

‘Taking profit without licensed responsibility’

He important that though it used to be in accordance to the enchantment filed by Mr Udeogu that the Supreme Court voided the lawsuits main to their conviction and sentence, Mr Kalu tendered the Supreme Court judgment prior to any other decide of the Federal Excessive Court (Mr Liman) who utilized the judgment to him and ordered is starting up from detention heart on that foundation of the judgment.

“The pronouncement of the Supreme Court as to the competence of the trial conducted by Hon. Justice MB ldris and the re-trial uncover in enchantment No: SC.622C/2019 used to be minute to the said 2d respondent herein (Udeogu).

“The first respondent took pleasant thing about the resolution of the Supreme Court in enchantment No: SC.622C/2019 and filed a motion prior to Hon. Justice A. M. Liman that since he used to be tried collectively with the opposite respondents and in explore of the resolution of the Supreme Court, that his conviction and sentence must even be declared a nullity.

“The lower court docket licensed the important respondent to depend on the resolution of the Supreme Court in enchantment No: SC.622C/2019 to capture pleasant thing about the uncover of nullity made by the Supreme Court on the judgment of Hon. Justice M. B. Idris and to lead clear of the burden of a retrial uncover made by the Supreme Court.

“The legislation will not allow the important respondent to approbate and reprobate on the the same time,” Mr Jacobs wrote in the honour of enchantment.

The EFCC extra faulted the trial court docket for keeping, among others, that “the appellant (EFCC) used to be merely appealing to the sentiments for the retrial of the important respondent and that the complete lawsuits in level to RJ3 and RJ4 haven’t any bearing with the lawsuits of the court docket in this case.”

‘Elegant’

Mr Jacobs identified to Uncover RJ3 as the motion on peek which Mr Kalu filed to quash the lawsuits conducted by Federal Excessive Court in Lagos, and Uncover RJ4, the uncover made by the decide, Mr Liman, on June 30, 2020, which keep apart the lawsuits conducted by the pale trial decide per court docket’s judgement and ordered his starting up from detention heart.

“It used to be pursuant to displays RJ3 and RJ4 that the important respondent used to be launched from the detention heart on the grounds that the judgment delivered by Hon. Justice M. B. Idrs JCA used to be a nullity.

“It is surprising that the uncover of competent jurisdiction made by Hon. Justice A.M. Liman used to be declared by the lower court docket as beside the level to the lawsuits.

“There might be not any such thing as a enchantment in opposition to the resolution and uncover of Hon. Justice A. M. Liman pending prior to E. I. Ekwo.

“E.I Ekwo . sat on enchantment in opposition to the uncover of Hon. Justice A.M Liman, atmosphere apart the judgment delivered on the Fifth December, 2019 after the elevation of on Justice M. B. Idris ground of jurisdiction,” the EFCC argued.

The rate canvassed the same grounds of enchantment in the enchantment in opposition to Mr Ekwo’s ruling touching on Slok.

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