The former governor of Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu may not be seeing anything beyond the four walls of a jail cell for a long time after a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Thursday sentenced him to 12 years in prison. The ex-governor and current senate chief whip from Abia North was found guilty of a 39-count charge bordering on a N7.2 billion fraud.
Kalu was convicted in a judgment delivered by Justice Mohammad Idris several years after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC filed fraud charges against him in 2007.
Over the years, the case dragged on until the ironic sentencing which handed him 12 years jail term after 12 years of litigation was finalized. He was convicted alongside his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited, and Jones Udeogu who served under him as the finance director of Abia state.
His firm, Slok Nigeria Limited, which was used to divert the fund will be forfeited to the government, while Jones Udeogu will serve 10 years in prison as well.
Speaking after the conviction, Justice Idris said that there are no doubts that both Kalu and Udeogu are guilty of the charges, and giving a befitting judgment will send a reminder to others like them.
“Let me remind those who hold positions of authority in this country that they shall be held responsible for their conduct,” he said.
“When they act contrary to the law, the same law will catch up with them. I will like to borrow a leaf from the words of the late Dele Giwa, who stated that, ‘No evil deed will go unpunished; any evil done by man to man will be redressed, if not now, certainly later. If not by man, then by God, for the victory of evil over good is temporary.’
“It is in this light and circumstances that I again find the defendants guilty.”