The Supreme Court, on Friday, delivered the ruling that Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) should prosecute former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu on a 107-count corruption charge. The charge borders on the alleged complicity of the erstwhile governor in money laundering and illegal diversion of public funds to the tune of N5.6billion. Kalu is alleged to have perpetuated the fraud while he piloted the affairs of Abia State between 1999 and 2007. Though the anti-graft agency docked him before the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on July 27, 2007, however, for the past eight years, the defendant, through various interlocutory applications, frustrated moves by the prosecution to open its case against him.
Initially, Kalu challenged the competence of the charge against him, as well as the jurisdiction of the High Court to hear and determine the case. Moving forward, the appellate court, in a unanimous judgment, upheld the competence of the charge, adding that the high court was constitutionally empowered to exercise jurisdiction on the trial.Dissatisfied with the verdict, Kalu approached the Supreme Court, begging it to set-aside the concurrent findings of the two lower courts. The apex court, in a unanimous judgment on Friday, dismissed the appeal, even as it ordered the appellant to go and face his trial before the high court. While upholding the Court of Appeal verdict, Justice Suleiman Galadima who delivered the lead verdict, said the apex court was satisfied that Kalu has a case to answer pertaining to allegations that were levelled against him by the EFCC.