Friday, April 19, 2024

Orji Kalu approaches Federal High Court for his release from custody with Six SANs

Former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has approached the Federal High court in Lagos asking for his release from prison custody.

Kalu who is still held at the Nigerian Correctional Service facility in Kuje hired a 12-man team of lawyers, including six Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN)s, to secure his release.

No date has  been fixed  for the hearing of the case which has been assigned to Justice Mohammed Liman.

Kalu, in his motion on notice against the Federal Government, is seeking to set aside his trial and conviction.

The motion, for Charge No FHC ABJ/CR 56/2007, was signed by Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN on behalf of 11 other lawyers.

They are: Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN; Awa Kalu SAN; Chris Uche SAN; Dr. U. Olatoke, SAN; Chef H.O Alolabi, SAN; Sylvester Elema SAN; Ikoro N. A. Ikoro; Omosanya Popoola; C. Obidike; Nnamdi Awa Kalu; Vivien Udora and A S. Amire.

His lawyers argued that no legal basis exists for Kalu’s continued incarceration because the Supreme Court on May 8 declared his trial a nullity and freed his co-defendant Jones Udeogu.

In the motion, Kalu prayed the court for four reliefs:

“An order setting aside the judgment of this Honourable Court dated the 5 day of December, 2019, under the hand of Hon Justice M.B. Idris, JCA the same having been given without jurisdiction:

“An order setting aside the trial and conviction of the Applicant – The order of conviction having been made without jurisdiction

“An order setting aside the sentence passed on each of the counts as applicable to the Applicant in the 39-count charge in charge No: FHC ABJ/CR 56/2007 – the sentences having been imposed without jurisdiction.

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“An order directing that the Applicant be released forthwith, from the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service Kuje Abuja FCT.”

He canvassed five grounds upon which the application was brought.

They are that he and his co-defendants “were tried and convicted at the Federal High Court by Justice Idris who in the course of trial was elevated to the Court of Appeal.

“The learned trial judge who conducted the trial has been held to have acted without jurisdiction in Suit No: SC.62C/2019 Udeh Jones Udeogu V Federal Republic of Nigeria, a Supreme Court decision dated the day of May. 2020

“The unassailable position of the law is that any judicial proceedings conducted without jurisdiction – no matter how well conducted – is a nullity

“The joint trial of the Applicant with the 2nd and 3rd Defendants/Respondents having been pronounced a nullity by the Supreme Court, entitles the Applicant to a release from his custodial sentence.”

 

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