Alleged N7.65bn fraud: Court revokes Orji Kalu’s bail
The Federal High Court in Lagos has revoked the bail granted in 2007 to a former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, who is facing N7.65bn fraud charges.
Justice Mohammed Idris revoked Kalu’s bail on Monday for the failure of the ex-governor to appear in court for his trial. Kalu’s lawyer, Prof. Awa Kalu (SAN) had, last week Monday, told the judge that his client had gone abroad for surgery.
But the prosecuting counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), had said he was not aware that Kalu obtained the court’s permission before travelling to Germany despite the fact that he had deposited his passport in court’s custody.
Jacobs urged Justice Idris to declare that Kalu had jumped bail and absconded.
In a ruling, Justice Idris ordered Kalu to return to Nigeria within seven days and make himself available for his trial on Monday.
However, Kalu failed to appear against the order of the court.
Consequently, Justice Idris, in his ruling, revoked his bail and ordered him to submit himself to the EFCC within 24 hours of his return to the country from Germany.
The judge ordered the EFCC to arrest and detain the ex-governor if he fails to yield himself to the anti-graft agency within 24 hours of his return.
The judge ruled, “In the circumstances, I’m constrained to revoke the bail granted to the first defendant.
“The first defendant is permitted to continue his medical treatment abroad unharrassed by security agencies.
“Upon the first defendant’s return into the country, he shall, at the point of entry, surrender his passport and other relevant travel documents to the EFCC.
“He shall also surrender himself to the EFCC within 24 hours of his return, failing which he shall be arrested and detained by the EFCC.
“Let me state that there is no doubt that the first defendant is entitled to and has a right to life; he has a right to seek medical treatment within and outside the shores of Nigeria; this right is further guaranteed by the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“In enjoying these rights, the first defendant has a duty to follow due process of the law. In this case, the first defendant acted outside the purview of the law and he is expected to be dealt with in accordance with the law.
“This is a court of law and a court of justice in accordance with the law. This court is also a court of equity, but he who seeks equity must do equity. It is said that like fire spits fire, so is equity.
“When you seek equity, you must do equity.”
It may be recalled that hearing in the trial of a former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, for an alleged fraud of N7.65bn was stalled on Monday, November 5, 2018, due to the absence of the ex-governor from court.
The matter was adjourned till November 12, 2018 for continuation of trial, but Kalu failed to make an appearance, leading to the revocation of his bail.