Although sentenced to twelve years imprisonment after being found guilty of N7.65billion fraud, the current Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu, will continue to receive his salary and all other entitlements in jail.
It is also worthy to note that he will not be executing any legislative function from prison.
Spokesperson of the Senate, Godiya Akwashiki, disclosed this in an exclusive interview with Premium Times on December 8.
With legal backing, Akwashiki held that Kalu is still a serving lawmaker until the Supreme Court passes final judgement on his case.
“He is still a senator. This is the first court. The matter is going to Supreme Court so, he still has the opportunity to appeal up to the Supreme Court level. Of course they will pay him. Because he is a sitting senator just like I said…if you file for an appeal, you are still serving and so they will pay you”.
“All his entitlements will be paid. There is no cause for alarm. In fact, even if the Court of Appeal says they have upheld the judgement of the lower court, he still has the right to go to Supreme Court. So once the Supreme Court says, yes, the judgement is okay, then that’s the final,” he explained.
The spokesperson also said that Mr Kalu’s seat will not be declared vacant because no law in the constitution mandates relinquishing the seat of a Senator undergoing trial at a lower court.
“Even the tenure of a former governor Joshua Dariye, who has been in prison for some time now, ran its course until the end of the 8th National Assembly. Nobody declared his seat vacant.”
Incase you missed it, Kalu was on December 5 sentenced to 12 years in prison by a Federal High Court after being found guilty of all the 39-court charges filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).