Political Stakeholders in Abia state have reacted to the Supreme Court’s nullification of the conviction of a former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu.
Also nullified was the judgement against his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited and Jones Udeogu, a former Director of Finance and Account of Abia State Government.
The apex court ordered their fresh trial at the lower court.
NAIJALOADED had reported that Kalu was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment over N7.16 billion fraud by a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on December 5.
Justice Mohammed Idris had convicted Kalu on a 39 count of N7.2 billion fraud and money laundering preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
However, on Friday, the Supreme Court gave a fresh order, stopping the judgment.
Justice Amina Augie who led a seven-man panel of Justices held that the trial Justice, Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court in Lagos acted without jurisdiction.
But, reacting to the Supreme Court verdict, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah, on Friday said
“I share with you, Distinguished Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, on the Supreme Court’s vacation of the ruling that served to constrain your people and Nigerians from having access to their senator and leading light in the Senate.
“At this auspicious moment as our nation is sustained in the trajectory of development, your presence will now continue to serve as a vital catalyst in the Senate where you have avidly represented our people.
“With your ebullient personality and unequalled capacity, there’s no doubt that this episode has only served to fan the flames of your redoubled efforts in the service of our country, Nigeria”.
On his part, the 2015 Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress(APC) in Abia state, Dr. Nyerere Anyim, commended the apex court over its judgment that nullified the conviction of 12 year jail term slammed on Senator Orji Kalu by the lower court.
He described the verdict as “Something to thank God for”.
“We are happy. We give God the glory. The Supreme court has by this verdict, maintained the sanctity of the judiciary and we are happy over the development”.
In his reaction on Friday, the Member representing Arochukwu/Ohafia Constituency of Abia State, in the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Uko Nkole, felicitated with the former Governor of the State and the Senator representing Abia North, Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu on the nullification of his conviction by Supreme Court of Nigeria.
In his statement shortly after the declaration of the Court’s verdict, Rt. Hon. Nkole wrote:
“Congratulations Distinguished Senator, God’s mercy as I prayed in my last birthday wish to you on 21/04 /2020 has finally prevailed. God is kind.”