Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says it is awaiting the reassignment of the N7.1billion fraud case involving former Abia State governor, Orji Uzo Kalu, by the Chief Judge of the Federal High to commence his fresh trial as ordered by the Supreme Court.
EFCC prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), said that the anti-graft agency had already applied to the Federal High Court Chief Judge to assign the case to a new judge.
Last December, Kalu was convicted of the N7.1bn fraud and jailed 12 years.
But the Supreme Court overruled his conviction and prison sentence on the grounds that Justice Mohammed Idris, who gave the verdict, lacked jurisdiction to preside over the case as he had been elevated to the Court of Appeal and had ceased to a judge of the Federal High Court as of when he delivered the judgment.
The Supreme Court also ordered that the 12-year trial should start all over again before another judge.
Last week, Kalu, who had been in the prison since December last year when Justice Idris delivered the judgment, regained his freedom.
But Jacobs said an application had been submitted to the Federal High Court Chief Judge for Kalu’s fresh trial and his decision was being awaited.
“We are not filing new charges. We have applied to the CJ to reassign the case in line with the decision of the Supreme Court. We have yet to see whether it has been assigned,” the EFCC prosecuting counsel said.
In the amended 34 counts filed before the court, the EFCC alleged that Kalu diverted N7.1bn from Abia State treasury while he was the governor between 1999 and 2007.
According to the EFCC Kalu “did procure 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.”