The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has said it was ready for fresh and immediate retrial of former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu.
The Supreme Court had on Friday upturned Kalu’s conviction for alleged fraud and ordered a retrial.
In 2019, a Federal High Court in Lagos convicted the Senate Chief Whip of N7.1bn fraud and was subsequently sentenced to 12 years in prison after standing trial on 39-count charge preferred against him by the EFCC.
The agency in a statement signed by its Head of Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, described the judgment of the apex court as quite unfortunate.
The statement reads, “The attention of the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission has been drawn to the judgment of the Supreme Court nullifying the trial of a former governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited and Jones Udeogu, a former Director of Finance and Account of Abia State Government and ordering their fresh trial at the lower court.
“The apex court based its verdict on the grounds that Justice Mohammed Idris, who convicted Kalu and others had been elevated to the Court of Appeal before the judgment and returned to the lower court to deliver the judgment which it considered as illegal.
“The EFCC considers the judgment of the apex court as quite unfortunate. It is a technical ambush against the trial of the former governor. The commission is prepared for a fresh and immediate trial of the case because its evidences against Kalu and others are overwhelming.
“The corruption charges against Kalu still subsist because the Supreme Court did not acquit him of them. The entire prosecutorial machinery of the EFCC would be launched in a fresh trial where justice is bound to be served in due course.”