Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court Abuja division earlier today (Monday February 8, 2021) temporary halted the re-trial of the former governor of Abia State, Sen. Orji Kalu, on alleged corruption charges. Kalu decamped to the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) where he ran and won election as a serving senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Justice Ekwo temporarily stayed the re-trial while delivering ruling in an application by Kalu seeking leave to file a motion against his re-trial for alleged fraud committed when he served as governor of Abia between 1999 and 2007. The ex parte application was filed by Kalu’s counsel, Prof. Awa Kalu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). Justice Ekwo also 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 and the matter was adjourned until February 23, 2021 for mention.