Orji-Uzor-Kalu-Forbes

Alleged N7.1bn Fraud: Hearing In Kalu’s Suit Against Re-Trial Stalled

Hearing in the suit by former Abia State Governor, Senator Orji Kalu, challenging his retrial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in alleged N7.1 billion fraud charges was on Tuesday stalled at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The hearing could not go on because of the claim by a counsel to the EFCC, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), that the anti-graft agency was not properly served with the originating summons.

Justice Inyang Ekwo had on February 8, fixed hearing in the substantive matter after granting leave to Kalu to challenge his retrial by the EFCC on the same charges upon which he was sentenced and convicted.

When the matter was called, Jacobs, who announced his appearance for the commission on protest, drew the attention of the court to the fact that the originating summons was served on his chambers instead of the EFCC, adding that he was yet to be briefed by his client, the EFCC.

The lawyer noted that going ahead with the case would amount to professional misconduct.

Responding, Prof. Awa Kalu (SAN), who appeared for Kalu, said he has no problem serving the EFCC with the originating summons. On their parts, both Chief Chris Uche (SAN) and George Ukeagbu, who appeared for third and second defendants, said they were properly served.

However, Justice Ekwo observed that both the first and third defendants were yet to file their reply briefs in the suit. He accordingly adjourned the case to April 20 for hearing and directed the applicant to serve the EFCC within seven days.

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