Orji Uzor Kalu, former governor of Abia state and chief whip of the senate, will remain in prison as a court of appeal in Abuja has dismissed an appeal filed against his sentence.
A federal high court in Lagos had in December sentenced Kalu to 12 years in prison over N7.1 billion fraud
The court had ordered that Kalu’s company, Slok Nigeria Limited, be liquidated and its assets forfeited to the federal government.
Kalu was also sentenced alongside Jones Udeogo who served as his director of finance when he was governor.
In the appeal, they contended that the federal high court in Lagos lacked the jurisdiction to try them.
According to PUNCH, the three-member panel of the appellate court, however, dismissed the appeal for lacking in merit.
In the judgement read by Olabisi Ige, a judge, the court held that section 98(3) and (4) of administration of criminal justice act, 2015 were not applicable to the appellants’ case.
“Nothing is perverse with the decision of the trial court. The complaint of the appellants is a non-issue,” the judge held.
“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.