The Federal High Court has stopped the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from retrying former Abia Governor, Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Inyang Ekwo gave the order while delivering judgment in an application filed by the former governor seeking an order of the court prohibiting the EFCC from retrying him on a charge for which he had already been tried and convicted.
“An order is hereby made prohibiting the Federal Government through the EFCC from retrying the applicant (Kalu) on charge no. FHC/ABJ/CR/56/2007 since there was no order in the judgment of the Supreme Court for the retrial of Kalu,” the judge said.
Recall that the former governor who is now a Senator representing Abia North Senatorial district in the Senate is seeking to stop his retrial in the N7.1B money laundering charges on the ground that he had been tried, convicted and imprisoned on the strength of the same charges.
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Professor Awa Kalu SAN, counsel to the former governor while adopting his processes had informed the court that senator Kalu stood for trial for 12 years and got the judgment that convicted and jailed him for 10 years.
The senior counsel cited section 36 (9) of the 1999 constitution which stipulates that no Nigerian shall be subjected to double jeopardy to support his arguments
Awa Kalu insisted that the former governor, having served a period of jail term would be made to suffer double jeopardy if allowed by the court to be put on trial for the second time by the federal government.
Professor Kalu had produced and read the Supreme Court judgment upon which the ex-governor was released after five months in prison adding that there was nowhere in the judgment where the apex court made the order for his client’s trial.
He had challenged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC to point out to court where an order for retrial was made against the former governor
The senior lawyer also urged the court to prohibit EFCC from going ahead with the planned retrial.