A judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, Inyang Ekwo, has placed a stay of proceedings in the N7.1 billion fraud case against former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu.
Recall that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had preferred a 36-count charge against Kalu and Ude Jones Udeogu, a former director of finance and accounts in Abia in 2007.
While the lawmaker was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment in December 2019, Udeogu was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
However, the supreme court on May 8, 2020 voided the trial and ordered a retrial after an appeal filed by Kalu’s co-defendant.
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However, on Monday, Justice Ekwo granted leave to the senator to challenge the legality of the retrial on the same charge.
The judge agreed that the former Abia governor had placed sufficient materials of value before the court to enable him secure permission for judicial review of his retrial on charges which he had been tried, convicted and spent some months in prison.
The Judge also granted Kalu permission to apply for an order of perpetual injunction against the Federal Government through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, ( EFCC) to prohibit his retrial.
The court gave Kalu seven days within which to file and serve the EFCC all processes he intended to use to challenge the legality of the retrial.
The matter was adjourned until Feb. 23 for mention.