N7.1bn fraud : Orji Kalu bags 12 years jail sentence

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A Federal High Court Thursday morning pronounced former governor of Abia State , Chief Orji Uzor Kalu  guilty of the 39  – count fraud charges preferred against him and sentenced him to 12 years imprisonment.

Justice Mohammed Idris just concluded reading the judgement.

The former governor who was present in court  looked sober as the court pronounced him guilty.

Kalu was initially arraigned before the Federal Court 12 years ago but his trial was stalled.

On July 17, 2018, and 11 years after his first arraignment, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) filed a fresh 39 –  count charges against the former governor over alleged N7.65bn fraud.

Kalu was re-arraigned alongside his company, Slok Nigeria Limited, and Ude Udeogu, who served under him as the Director of Finance and Account, Abia State Government House.

The re-arraignment of the defendants before the court followed an amendment to the charges filed against them 11 years ago.

With the amendment, the prosecution increased the number of charges against the defendants from the initial 34 to 39.

The amount quoted to have been allegedly diverted, stolen and laundered by the defendants was also increased from N2.9bn to N7.65bn.

The prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), said the amendment to the charges became necessary in view of new facts revealed by some of the19 witnesses who had testified against Kalu and his co-defendants in court.

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