The Supreme Court of Nigeria had void ex-governor Orji Uzor Kalu ‘s conviction of 12-year jail term and order a fresh trial.
The Supreme Court, on Friday, quashed the judgement that convicted and sentenced the former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, to 12 years imprisonment.
The apex court, in an unanimous decision by a seven-man panel of Justices led by Justice Amina Augie, held that the Federal High Court in Lagos acted without jurisdiction when it convicted Kalu. His firm, Slok Nigeria Limited and former Director of Finance in Abia State, Jones Udeogu.
It held that trial Justice Mohammed Liman was no longer a judge of the Federal High Court as at the time he sat and delivered the judgement that convicted the defendants for allegedly stealing about N7.1billion from Abia state treasury.
According to the Supreme Court, Justice Liman, having been elevated to the Court of Appeal before then, lacked the powers to return to sit as a High Court Judge.
It held that the Fiat that was issued to him by the Court of Appeal President pursuant to section 396(7) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act was unconstitutional.
As a result, the apex court quashed the judgement that convicted the ex governor Kalu.
The court however, ordered a fresh trial of the Orji Uzor Kalu.
No date for the fresh trial has been stated.