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N7.65bn fraud: Orji Uzor Kalu sentenced to 12 years imprisonment

N7.65bn fraud: Orji Uzor Kalu sentenced to 12 years imprisonment

Doris Ukaonu

Former governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment today, December 5th, by a federal high court in Lagos.

Senator Kalu was found guilty of all the 39-court charges filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). 

He was sentenced together with his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited and Ude Udeogu, Abia State’s director of finance, during his regime.

The court, presided over by Justice Mohammed Idris, also ordered forfeiture of all assets owned by his company, to the federal government.

Senator Kalu was found guilty of  N7.65billion fraud executed between 1999 and 2007, while he was governor.

In the 39-counts-charge, the EFCC accused him of conspiring and diverting over N7 billion from the coffers of Abia state.

Senator Orji Uzor Kalu
Senator Orji Uzor Kalu

One of the counts read spoke of Kalu, that he “procured Slok Nigeria Limited – a company solely owned by you and members of your family – to retain in its account, domiciled with the then Inland Bank Plc, Apapa branch, Lagos, an aggregate sum of N7,197,871,208.7 on your behalf.”

According to the EFCC, the N7.1 billion “formed part of the funds illegally derived from the treasury of the Abia State Government, which was converted into several bank drafts before they were paid into the said company’s account.”

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The prosecution had a total of 19 witnesses in court while the defendants testified themselves.

Kalu alongside the other defendants, was also accused by the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs of stealing N460 million from the Abia State Government treasury between July and December 2002.

Rotimi held that the ex-governor breached Section 17(c) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004, and was liable to be punished under Section 16 of the same Act.

 

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