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N7.6bn Fraud: Orji Kalu’s Firrm Loses Bid To Suspend Trial

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday dismissed applications seeking stay of proceedings in the trial of a former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, for alleged N7.6bn fraud.

The applications seeking stay of proceedings were filed by Kalu’s firm, Slok Nigeria Limited; and Ude Udeogu, who are co-defendants with the ex-governor in the criminal case.
Though the case was adjourned till Thursday for the defendants to open their defence, they urged the court to stay further proceedings pending the outcome of some appeals that they filed.
Mr. K. C. Nwofor (SAN), who is representing Kalu’s firm, Slok Nigeria Limited, told the judge that he had filed an appeal to challenge the dismissal of his client’s no-case submission.
He said he was also challenging the jurisdiction of Justice Mohammed Idris to continue hearing the case after he (the judge) had been elevated to the Court of Appeal.
It would be recalled that following Justice Idris’ elevation to the Court of Appeal, Kalu’s lawyer, Prof Awa Kalu (SAN), applied under Section 396(7) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act to the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, for Justice Idris to be given fiat to conclude the case despite being elevated.
In granting the prayer, Justice Bulkachuwa gave Justice Idris fiat to return to the Federal High Court to conclude the case, with a condition that the case must finish by the end of September when Justice Idris would be expected to resume fully at his new duty post.

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