After more than 150 days in prison, Kalu returns as Senate Chief Whip

ORJI Kalu Uzor, former Abia State governor and senator representing Abia North  on Tuesday resumed as Senate Chief Whip after spending more than 150 days in prison.

Kalu while speaking to journalists before stepping into the Senate chamber said he was glad to be back at the Senate.

He added that he needed to commence work to cover up for the loss time during his incarceration.

Kalu had been in jail serving a 12-year sentence after he was convicted on corruption charges committed during his two term as the governor of Abia State.

On Tuesday, December 5,2019, Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos sentenced Kalu to 12 years imprisonment on a 39 count charges brought by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He was convicted alongside his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited and Ude Udeogu, his former Abia State Director of Finance.

The judge ruled that the Kalu and others were guilty of misappropriation of funds to the tune of N7.1 billion  from the treasury of Abia State Government between 1999 to 2007.

However, Kalu was released on June 2, 2020, from Kuje Correctional Centre, Abuja following an order by the Supreme Court.

Setting the High Court’s judgement aside, the Supreme Court ruled that the High Court lacked the power to convict a former governor.






     

     

    The apex court also challenged the jurisdiction of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court chaired by Justice Idris to sentence Kalu.

    Welcoming Kalu back to the Senate,  Ahmad Lawan, Senate President, said his return as the Chief Whip to the Senate was ‘indeed a blessing.’

    “I want to welcome back our one and only Chief Whip of the Senate and indeed the National Assembly,” Lawan said.

    “Chief whip you are welcome, we are very grateful to the Almighty God for his blessings,” Lawan said.

    Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via [email protected], on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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