Former Abia state governor and chief senate whip Orji Uzor Kalu will remain in prison after the Abuja Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal against his conviction.
Recall that last December, Kalu had been sentenced to 12 years in prison by a federal high court, for 7.1 billion N of fraud
The court ordered the liquidation of Kalu’s company, Slok Nigeria Limited, and the confiscation of its assets from the federal government.
He was convicted alongside Jones Udeogo, who served as director of finance when he was governor.
While appealing, they argued that the Federal High Court of Lagos had no jurisdiction to try them.
However, their appeal was dismissed by the panel of three members of the court of appeal, on the ground that the appeal for want of merit.
In the judgment read by Olabisi Ige, a judge, the court held that sections 98 (3) and (4) of the Criminal Administration of Justice Act 2015 were not applicable to the appellants’ case.
“Nothing is perverse with the decision of the court of first instance. The appellants’ complaint is not a problem, “said the judge.
“If a court has a jurisdiction/power, the fact of doing so under a wrong law is no reason to set it aside. The rights of the appellants were not infringed.”
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had brought a 39-count charge against Kalu.
His corruption trial began in 2007, but the case had suffered setbacks.