JUST IN: Orji Kalu hires six SANs to secure release from Prison


Former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has filed an application before the Federal High Court in Lagos seeking his immediate release from the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service in Kuje, Abuja.

Standard News learned that the application, which was filed on May 12, 2020, has been assigned to Justice Mohammed Liman.

The former Director of Finance, Abia State Government House, Ude Jones Udeogu, an aide to the former governor has been listed as a respondent to the application alongside Orji Kalu’s company, Slok Nigeria Limited.

The former governor also wants an order of the Court setting aside his conviction dated Dec 5. 2019, under the Hand of Hon. Justice Mohammed Idris since the Supreme Court in its judgment on May 8, 2020, held that it was given without jurisdiction.

Besides this, Orji Kalu has also asked the court to set aside the trial and the sentence passed on him on each of the 39 counts brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The motion, for Charge No FHC ABJ/CR 56/2007, was signed by Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN on behalf of 11 other lawyers.

They are: Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN; Awa Kalu SAN; Chris Uche SAN; Dr. U. Olatoke, SAN; Chef H.O Alolabi, SAN; Sylvester Elema SAN; Ikoro N. A. Ikoro; Omosanya Popoola; C. Obidike; Nnamdi Awa Kalu; Vivien Udora and A S. Amire.

They argued that no legal basis exists for Kalu’s continued incarceration because the Supreme Court on May 8 declared his trial a nullity and freed his co-defendant Jones Udeogu.

In it, Kalu prayed the court for four reliefs. His prayers are: “An order setting aside the judgment of this Honourable Court dated the 5th of December 2019, under the hand of Hon Justice M.B. Idris, JCA the same having been given without jurisdiction:

“An order setting aside the trial and conviction of the Applicant – The order of conviction having been made without jurisdiction

“An order setting aside the sentence passed on each of the counts as applicable to the Applicant in the 39-count charge in charge No: FHC ABJ/CR 56/2007 – the sentences having been imposed without jurisdiction.

“An order directing that the Applicant be released forthwith, from the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service Kuje Abuja FCT.”

He canvassed five grounds upon which the application was brought.

They are that he and his co-defendants “were tried and convicted at the Federal High Court by Justice Idris who in the course of the trial was elevated to the Court of Appeal.

“The learned trial judge who conducted the trial has been held to have acted without jurisdiction in Suit No: SC.62C/2019 Udeh Jones Udeogu V Federal Republic of Nigeria, a Supreme Court decision dated the day of May. 2020

“The unassailable position of the law is that any judicial proceedings conducted without jurisdiction – no matter how well conducted – is a nullity

“The joint trial of the Applicant with the 2nd and 3rd Defendants/Respondents having been pronounced a nullity by the Supreme Court, entities the Applicant to a release from his custodial sentence.”

The motion will be heard this month, but the day will be communicated to the parties.

Justice Liman is yet to fix a date for the hearing of the application.

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