After twelve years of trial, a Federal High Court in Lagos, Thursday, convicted former Governor of Abia State and Chief Whip of the Nigerian Senate, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, for fraud.
Kalu, the senator representing Abia North, was convicted alongside Udeh Udeogu, who was Director of Finance and Accounts at the Abia State Government House during his tenure as governor.
Kalu, his company, SLOK Nigeria Limited, and Udeogu, were put on trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for allegedly diverting N7.65 billion while serving as Abia Governor.
Justice Mohammed Idris found them guilty of the 39-count charge and sentenced Kalu to 12 years in prison while Udeogu got 10, declaring money laundering as crime against humanity.
Justice Idris also ordered the winding down of SLOK Nigeria Limited.
Prior to their sentence, Kalu’s lawyers had pleaded with the court for leniency.
It was, indeed, a long drawn legal tussle between the EFCC and Kalu as the trial took 12 years. It was concluded in August. The prosecution and defence counsels adopted their written submissions on October 22 and the judge reserved judgement for today, December 5.