A prominent Northern leader, Dr. Bashir Lamido has welcomed the Appeal Court ruling upholding the decision of the Federal High Court dismissing the retrial of a former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Lamido in a chat with newsmen in Yola described the continuous trial as unfair saying: “The ill-treatment is unacceptable and unfair to Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.”

Lamido described the lingering trial as unfair and an act of intimidation against Kalu— who is now the lawmaker representing Abia North Senatorial District in the National Assembly.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Governors Threat To State Policing — Sir Udensi

“Senator Kalu is someone that is well loved and known globally as a billionaire businessman. It is surprising hearing that he is been tried for a mere N7 billion. We all know what transpired between him and Obasanjo and the failed third term agenda. We know those that destroyed the third term agenda and what happened after they denied Obasanjo his agenda. He went after them with the EFCC. Some people benefited from it using it as a tool to witch-hunt Kalu especially ahead of the 2023 presidential election.

“Kalu is a lovable soul across board. He lives across the six geopolitical zones. So, I feel it was a bit unfair especially the ill-treatment meted out against him. This case has lingered for too long and it’s time for those behind the ordeal to apologise to him and move on. For a man who stood against 19 witnesses of the Federal Government and was never implicated by any of the witnesses to still get jailed is only but a calculated attempt of political destruction.”

In September 2021, a judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, Inyang Ekwo, barred the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from retrying Mr Kalu, who was earlier convicted of N7.1 billion fraud.


Mr Kalu, a serving senator representing Abia North, was already serving a 12-year jail term for the offences when the Supreme Court, on 8 May 2020, set aside the proceedings leading to his and his co-defendants’ conviction.

The Supreme Court’s judgement delivered on an appeal by Mr Kalu’s co-defendant, Ude Udeogu, had ordered a retrial at the Federal High Court.

Mr Kalu went on to secure his release from prison based on the Supreme Court’s verdict but quickly applied to the Federal High Court in Abuja to stop his retrial.

In his decision on the issue, Mr Ekwo held that the Supreme Court’s judgement did not order the retrial of Mr Kalu.

The judge cited section 36 (9) of the Nigerian constitution and Section 238 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (2015), in saying, “no person can be retried on the offence upon which he has been convicted.

However, the defiant EFCC through its lawyer, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, approached the appellate court to have Mr Ekwo’s decision nullified.

Mr Kalu was tried based on amended 39 counts in which they were accused of stealing and mismanaging funds belonging to Abia State during his days as governor between 1999 and 2007. The EFCC had 19 witnesses against Kalu of which none implicated him but the judge still went ahead to pronounce judgement against the former governor.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here