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EFCC asks court to transfer Orji Kalu’s fraud case

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has asked a federal high court sitting in Abuja to transfer the fresh trial of a former governor of Abia state, Chief Orji-Uzor Kalu and two others to its Lagos division.

Chief Kalu and his co-defendants are accused of involvement in an alleged N7.1 billion fraud.

The application seeking the transfer was brought pursuant to sections 18, 19, 22 and 45 of the federal high court act, 2010, and section 93 of the administration of criminal justice act, 2015.

The Counsel to the EFCC, Oluwaleke Atolagbe said the application was predicated on five grounds, among which are: that the Abuja division of the federal high court lacked the requisite territorial Jurisdiction to entertain and try the defendants in the instant charge.

The motion further indicated that after taking their plea, the defendant brought an application challenging the competence of the charge, contending that there was no prima facie case against them.

Following the decision of the Supreme Court, saying that many of the ingredients of the offenses against them occurred in Lagos and most of the witnesses who were bank workers resided in Lagos, the EFCC applied to the Chief Judge of the federal high court to transfer the matter to Lagos.

When the matter came up, the Judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo said he would not be able to take the application in view of the approaching Easter holidays.

Justice Ekwo, consequently, adjourned the case until May 17, this year, for determination of the application.

Reporting by Ifeoma Nwovu; Editing by Omotola Oguneye