Posted by Sandra Umeh | 21 September 2018 | 1,115 times
A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday said it would on Friday hear the defence of a former Governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, in the case of N3. 2billion fraud preferred against him.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Kalu together with his former Commissioner for Finance, Ude Udeogo, and a Company, Slok Nigeria Ltd in a 34-count charge, bordering on N3.2 billion fraud.
They had each pleaded not guilty to the charge, and were granted bail.
At Thursday’s proceedings, the defence counsel had urged the court for a stay of proceedings, pending the determination of appeals filed at the Court of Appeal, on jurisdictional issues.
The defence argued that the grounds of appeal question the jurisdiction of the trial court, to continue with the hearing of the case, following the elevation of the trial judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, to the Court of Appeal.
The defence argued that Order 4 Rules 10 and 11 of the Court of Appeal Rules is superior to the provisions of Section 396 (7) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, which permits the judge to still sit as a High Court judge.
The defence, therefore, urged the court to stay proceedings.
In a Bench ruling, Justice Idris declined the request to stay further proceedings in the case, on the grounds that it is in conflict with the provisions of the law.
Idris, thus adjourned the case until Sept. 21, for continuation of trial. (NAN)
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