Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa has stated that agency is committed to prosecuting Orji Uzor Kalu, former Abia state governor.
Recall that the EFCC had preferred a 36-count charge against Kalu and Ude Jones Udeogu, a former director of finance and accounts in Abia.
While the former governor bagged 12 years imprisonment in December 2019, Udeogu was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
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However, the supreme court on May 8, 2020 voided the trial and ordered a retrial following an appeal filed by Kalu’s co-defendant.
Kalu has, however, applied to a federal high court in Abuja, asking the court to stop the commission from retrying him.
According to him, the supreme court’s pronouncement on retrial was peculiar to Udeogu, adding that it will amount to double jeopardy if he is allowed to be subjected to a fresh trial on the same charge.
Commenting on the matter during the weekly ministerial briefing at the presidential villa on Thursday, Bawa said the commission is relentless in its pursuit of justice.
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“All the known politically exposed cases that you are aware of that are in court, we are vigorously and intelligently going to sustain their prosecution,” he said.
He made reference to the case of Francis Atuche, a former managing director of the defunct Bank PHB, who was arraigned in 2009 but was recently convicted and sentenced to six years imprisonment over N25.7 billion fraud.
“We are determined to continue to prosecute no matter how long it takes and no matter the amount of resources that are involved,” Bawa added.
“And that is why those of us in law enforcement say it time and time again, there is no budget in law enforcement because you never can tell where it will take you. It can take you up to the six continents and back and you have to prove your case beyond all reasonable doubts. So also in the case of the prosecution, it can take one, two or several years.
“The cases of Air Marshal Adesola Amosu is ongoing, Ibrahim Shema, Adebayo Alao-Akala, Ikedi Ohakim, Muazu Aliyu, Orji Uzor Kalu, we are going to prosecute him again all over after 12 years.
“Others are Olajide Omokore, Erastus Akingbola, former MD Intercontinental bank; Andrew Yakubu, ex GMD NNPC; Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, ex-judge; Femi Thomas, ex-ED NHIS; Babachir Lawal, former SGF.”
Photo Credit: Getty