The trial of an All Progressives Congress chieftain, Orji Uzor Kalu over alleged fraud has suffered a brief hitch.
former governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu
The trial of a former governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, who was accused of N2.9bn fraud, was stalled on Tuesday due to the absence of the prosecuting counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), Punch reports.
Kalu is being prosecuted before the Federal High Court in Lagos. He is facing 34 charges alongside Udeh Udeogu and Slok Nigeria Limited before Justice Mohammed Idris.
The case was meant to continue on Tuesday but Jacobs did not appear. The defence counsel informed the judge that the prosecutor had already written to them, stating that he would not be in court. Justice Idris, however, noted that Jacobs did not send any such letter to the court.
The judge expressed his displeasure at the development, noting that trial in criminal cases were meant to be day-to-day by virtue of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.
The matter was, consequently, adjourned till November 8, 2017. The EFCC, in the charges, alleged that while he was governor of Abia State, Kalu siphoned funds running into over N2.9bn from the state’s treasury.
The ex-governor was accused of diverting state funds into the account of Slok Nigeria Limited, a company, the EFCC claimed was owned by Kalu and his family members.