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Court convicts Orji Kalu of N7.1bn fraud

A federal high court in Lagos condemned Orji Uzor Kalu, Abia state former Governor chief whip of the senate for fraud N7.1 billion.

Kalu stood trial on a 39-count charge brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Senator Slok Nigeria Limited, his company, and Udeh Udeogu, former director of finance and accounts of Abia, have been accused of diverting N7.65 billion from the stock exchange of the state government.

He is also accused of illegally withdrawing N460 million from the Abian treasure.

“Slok Nigeria Limited – a company solely owned by you and members of your family – to retain in its account, domiciled with the then Inland Bank Plc, Apapa branch, Lagos, an aggregate sum of N7,197,871,208.7 on your behalf,” one of the charges filed against Kalu reads.

The offences are said to be in contravention of section 17(c) of the money laundering (prohibition) act, 2004.

In the course of the trial, the anti-graft agency argued that the defendants breached section 427 of the criminal code act, CAP 77, Laws of the federation 1990.

It called 19 witnesses to help establish its case.

Kalu’s corruption trial began in 2007, but the case suffered setbacks owing to legal spanner thrown into the works by the accused.

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