Court grants Orji Kalu’s request to go for surgery in N7.6bn alleged fraud case
Court grants Orji Kalu’s request to go for surgery in N7.6bn alleged fraud case
Court grants Orji Kalu’s request to go for surgery in N7.6bn alleged fraud case
Federal High Court, Lagos
The Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday rejected ex-Governor Orji Uzor Kalu’s request to have his case adjourned so as to enable him to go for a surgical procedure.

The court also dismissed the no-case submission filed by the former governor of Abia State in response to the N7.6bn fraud charges pressed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Justice Mohammed Idris, in his ruling, said Kalu had some explanations to make, particularly on certain documents tendered by the EFCC as exhibits in evidence against him.

The same fate befell similar no-case submissions filed by Kalu’s co-defendants.

The ex-governor is facing 39 counts alongside his company, Slok Nigeria Limited; and Ude Udeogu, who served under him as the Director of Finance and Accounts at the Abia State Government House.

The EFCC first arraigned them before Justice Idris on October 31, 2016.

They pleaded not guilty to the charges, following which the EFCC opened its case, calling 19 witnesses and tendering a load of exhibits.

At the conclusion of the prosecution’s case, however, the defendants filed a no-case submission, arguing that the EFCC failed to link them to any crime.

They urged Justice Idris to dismiss the charges and set them free.

The judge, however, disagreed with them in his Tuesday ruling, holding that they have explanations to make as to the fraud allegations pressed against them.

The judge called on the defendants to open their defence, reminding the parties that he had September ending deadline to finish the case.

Kalu’s lawyer, Mr. Gordy Uche (SAN), however, pleaded with the judge for a six-week adjournment to enable Kalu to go for a surgical procedure.

“The first defendant has a medical appointment for surgery and the lead counsel in this matter had actually written a letter he wants us to bring to the attention of Your Lordship with respect to the surgery,” Uche said.

He pleaded with the judge to adjourn the case till September 10, 2018.

But the prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), pleaded that the case be heard in the first week of September, bearing in mind that the judge had to conclude the case by the end of September.

Uche, however, said it was not realistic, explaining that the six-week adjournment was to avoid a situation where the case would come up and Kalu would not be available.

In a short ruling, Justice Idris said he was constrained to grant Uche’s request, thereby adjourning the case till September 10 for the defendants to open their defence.

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