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Orji Uzo Kalu faces 12 years in jail for Fraud and money laundering

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Orji Uzo Kalu faces 12 years in jail for Fraud and money laundering

Orji Uzo Kalu faces 12 years in jail for Fraud and money laundering

Orji Uzo Kalu faces 12 years in jail for Fraud and money laundering, A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday sentenced a former Governor of Abia, Orji Kalu, to 12 years imprisonment for N7.2 billion fraud and
money laundering.

The court convicted Kalu, now a senator, on all the 39 counts preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission charge.

Kalu was charged alongside a former Commissioner for Finance, in the state Jones Udeogu, and his company, Slok
Nig. Ltd.

While Kalu and his company were found guilty of all the 39 counts, Udeogu was convicted on 34 counts and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

The court ordered that the Slok Nig. Ltd. Should be wound up and its assets forfeited to the Federal Government

On October 22, both the prosecution and defence counsel adopted their written submissions before the court.

The judge then reserved judgement to be delivered today, December 5.

Mr Kalu is currently a senator representing Abia State.

The charge

In an amended 39-count charge, the defendants were accused by the EFCC of conspiring and diverting over N7 billion from the coffers of the state.

In one of the counts, the EFCC alleged that Mr Kalu, who was Abia State Governor between 1999 and 2007, “did procure Slok Nigeria Limited – a company solely owned by you and members of your family – to retain in its account, domiciled with the then Inland Bank Plc, Apapa branch, Lagos, an aggregate sum of N7,197,871,208.7 on your behalf.”

The prosecution claimed that the N7.1 billion “formed part of the funds illegally derived from the treasury of the Abia State Government and which was converted into several bank drafts before they were paid into the said company’s account.”

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Prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, said the ex-governor violated Section 17(c) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004, and was liable to be punished under Section 16 of the same Act.

Apart from the N7.1 billion, which he was accused of laundering, the ex-governor and the other defendants were also accused of receiving a total of N460 million allegedly stolen from the Abia State Government treasury between July and December 2002.

The prosecutor said they breached Section 427 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap 77, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990.

The defendants had pleaded not guilty to all counts.

In an attempt to prove the allegations, the prosecution called 19 witnesses while the defendants testified on behalf of themselves.

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