Alleged fraud: Kalu appeals Court’s ruling on no case submission

LAGOS — Former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has filed an appeal challenging the ruling of a Federal High Court in Lagos, which  said he had a case to answer in the allegation of fraud preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

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Justice Mohammed Idris had, last Tuesday, held that Kalu has some explanations to make particularly on certain documents tendered by the EFCC as exhibits in evidence against him.

Orji Kalu

In the notice of appeal, filed on his behalf by his counsel, Chief Awa .U. Kalu, dated August 1, Kalu insisted that all the evidences supplied by the prosecution witnesses had no “nexus,” with him, and as such there was no way a  prima facie  case against him would have been established.

Listing his basis for appeal, Kalu said the court erred in law when it held that he has a case to answer “notwithstanding the fact that the evidence adduced by the prosecution witnesses had no nexus with the appellant (Kalu) and did not make out a prima facie case against the appellant.”

He said: “None of the prosecution witnesses gave any evidence linking the appellant with any of the charges. No fund whatsoever was traced to the personal bank accounts of the appellant nor was the appellant shown to have personally benefitted himself from the said funds alleged to have been stolen or laundered.”

“No financial document was shown to have been made or any financial transaction shown to have been performed or transacted by the appellant in relation to the funds the subject matter of the charge. The prosecution had not made out a case against the appellant. There was nothing for the appellant to defend and no justification for the appellant to be put through the rigors of a full trial.”

On ground two, Kalu further contend that the court erred in law when it held that “Exhibits B1-B28, 34, J, L, N1-N15, P1-P34, T8 and U linked the appellant with the offences charged and thereby required the Appellant to make some explanations by way of entering into his defence.”

He also listed four particulars of the error as follows: “None of the documentary evidence and financial records were made by the appellant or had any bearing to the appellant. The exhibits mentioned above did not show  prima facie  evidence of conspiracy or money laundering against the Appellant. The appellant cannot be expected to prove his innocence when there is no nexus between him and the evidence led by the prosecution. The appellant will suffer gross miscarriage of justice to be compelled to defend a matter in which no  prima facie  case had been made out against him.”

To this end, Kalu is asking the Court of Appeal to set aside the ruling of the Federal High Court delivered in respect of the case on August 31.

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