The Supreme Court has nullified the judgment which convicted the former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu.
A seven-man panel of the apex court led by Amina Augie said that the court held that conviction of Kalu was void as the trial judge, Mohammed Liman, lacked the jurisdiction to hear the case, and ordered for a retrial.
It said Liman, who heard the case, was elevated to the appeal court at the time of the matter and was no longer a judge of the federal high court, and as such lacked the authority to preside over the trial.
The Federal High Court in Lagos had sentenced Senator Kalu to 12 years imprisonment in a judgement delivered in December 2019.
The judge also ordered the forfeit and liquidation of Kalu’s company, Slok Nigeria Limited, and assets to the federal government.
On a 39-count charge brought against him and Udeh Udeogu, Slok Nigeria Limited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the accusation of diverting N7.65 billion from the purse of the state government and also accused of illegally taking N460 million from Abia’s treasury.
Udeh Udeogu was a former Director of Finance and Account at the Abia State Government House.