Saturday, 12 May 2018

N3.2bn: EFCC Amends Charges, Closes Case Against Ex-Gov,Orji Kalu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday, closed its case against a former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, and others before Justice Muhammed Idris of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.

Kalu is being prosecuted alongside his company, Slok Nigeria Limited, and his former Commissioner for Finance, Jones Udeogu, for alleged offences bordering on money laundering to the tune of over N3.2billion.

At Friday’s sitting, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, after the conclusion of evidence given by a prosecution witness, Chukwuka Chidi, Deputy Director, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, moved an oral application to amend the charge against the defendants in view of the evidence given so far.

While moving the application, Jacobs told the court that he would not call any other witness in the matter again, especially if the defence would not seek to cross-examine any of his witnesses after the amendment being sought.

However, the defence counsel led by Awa Kalu, SAN, kicked against the application by the prosecution counsel on the grounds that he had promised to close his case today.

In response, Jacobs urged the court to allow him to amend the charge, saying, ” the prosecution can amend a charge at anytime while the trial lasts. ”He further re-iterated that the amendment to the charge would not warrant calling any other witness.

Consequently, the defence agreed with the prosecution to amend the charge against the defendants.nThe defence counsel also told the court that they would respond to the application accordingly. Justice Idris, after listening to both counsel, adjourned the matter to May 30 and 31, 2018 for continuation of trial.

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