Orji Kalu’s freedom battle begins in June

Orji Uzor Kalu
Senator Orji Uzor Kalu: said prison experience was good for him

Senator Orji Kalu
By Akin Kuponiyi/Lagos

A Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed 2 June to hear an application seeking the release from prison of the former Abia State Governor, Senator Orji Kalu.

The applicantion is pending before Justice Mohammed Liman.

Orji is serving a 12-year jail term at the Correctional Service Centre in Kuje, Abuja for looting N7.65billion belonging to Abia State.

The former Governor has hired a 12-man team of lawyers, including six Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN)s, to prosecute his freedom bid.

The application was filed on May 12 asking the court to nullify his conviction.

Justice Mohammed Idris who had been elevated to court of appeal on December 5 2019, convicted Kalu and a former Director of Finance in the Abia State Government House, Ude Jones Udeogu of the offence of fraud.

Udeogu was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

However, following Udeogu’s appeal, the Supreme Court on May 8 held that the fiat issued to Justice Idris to conclude the case after he had been elevated to the Court of Appeal was “a nullity”.

The apex court set aside Idris’ verdict “as it relates to the appellant (Udeogu)”conviction

It ordered Udeogu’s freedom and the retrial of his case.

Kalu is now contending that no legal basis exists for his continued incarceration following the Supreme Court’s judgment which declared his and Udeogu’s trial a nullity.