Alleged N2.9bn Fraud: Court Adjourns Kalu’s Case To April 10

Former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu
Former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu

By Andah John with agency report

The Federal High Court in Lagos has adjourned the corruption trial of the former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, till April 10, 2017.

Kalu is standing trial over N2.9bn fraud.

The trial judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, adjourned the case on Thursday to enable the prosecution to regularise the proof of evidence filed in support of the charge.

The adjournment followed a ruling in which the judge upheld the objection of the defence counsel to the competence of a bank manager, Christy Ohiri, to testify in the case as the second witness for the prosecution.

The defence counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Solo Akuma (SAN) and K.C. Nwafor (SAN), had on Wednesday contended that Ohiri could not testify in the case because her name was not on the list of the 19 witnesses proposed to be called by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The defence was also reported to have opposed the move by the prosecutor, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), to tender, through Ohiri, the statement of an account opened by the Abia State Government House at the Umuahia branch of the United Bank for Africa.

In his ruling on Thursday, Justice Idris held that it was clear that Ohiri was not listed as one of the witnesses in the proof of evidence front-loaded and served on the defence counsel by the prosecution.

He said this failure could not be waved aside as it was a fundamental breach of Section 397(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act and Section 36 of the constitution both of which state that an accused person must be given adequate time and facility to prepare his defence.

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