A former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, has hired a 12-man team of lawyers including six Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) to secure his release from prison.
Kalu, who is serving a 12-year jail term at the Kuje Custodial Centre, Abuja, for looting N7.65bn belonging to the Abia State Government during his eight years in office, had his conviction judgment recently set aside by the Supreme Court.
The apex court had ruled that a fresh trial be done on his case.
Kalu, in his motion on notice against the Nigerian 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.
They 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.
It was brought pursuant to Section 180 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.
Kalu prayed the court for an order setting aside the judgment of the court dated December 5, 2019, under the hand of Hon Justice M.B. Idris, JCA the same having been given without jurisdiction.
He also asked the court to grant 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.
“An order directing that the Applicant be released forthwith, from the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service Kuje Abuja FCT”.