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JUST IN: Supreme Court Nullifies Conviction Of Orji Kalu, Orders Fresh Hearing

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JUST IN: Supreme Court Nullifies Conviction Of Orji Kalu, Orders Fresh Hearing



The Supreme Court on Friday nullified the trial of a former governor of Abia State , Orji Kalu , and others , who were in December convicted and sentenced for a N 7 . 1 bn fraud.
Justice Mohammed Idris , who had been elevated to the Court of Appeal bench , had returned to the Federal High Court in Lagos to complete the case which started in 2007 .
The judge had sentenced the ex – governor to 12 years imprisonment for the fraud he allegedly perpetrated during his tenure as Abia State governor .
But in a unanimous judgment of the Supreme Court led by Justice Olabode Rhodes – Vivour , on Friday , the apex court nullified the entire trial , on the grounds that the constitution does not permit a judge elevated to a higher court to return to a lower court to conclude a part – heard case.

Justice Ejembi Eko , who delivered the lead judgment also declared as unconstitutional the provision of section 396( 7 ) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 , on which the then President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa ( retd) , relied on to authorise Justice Idris to return to the Court of Appeal to conclude the trial .
The panel unanimously directed the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to assign the case to another judge of the court for the trial to commence afresh .
Kalu , who was in December 2019 judgment, sentenced to 12 years ’ imprisonment , was convicted alongside his firm , Slok Nigeria Limited , and Jones Udeogu , who served under him as the Director of Finance and Account at the Abia State Government House in Umuahia

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