It has been several weeks since the Supreme Court judgement that nullified the earlier conviction of a former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor-Kalu, for corruption to the tune of N7.1 billion, and ordered for a fresh trial of the case.
However, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has said that it is still waiting on the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to reassign the case to a new Judge, so that his fresh trial ordered by the Supreme Court can start.
The Prosecuting Counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, on Tuesday, said that the anti-graft Agency had already applied to the Federal High Court Chief Judge to assign the case to a new Judge, who will now handle it.
Senator Orji Uzor-Kalu was convicted of the N7.1 billion fraud, in December 2019, and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment.
However, the Supreme Court overruled the conviction and prison sentence, on the grounds that Justice Mohammed Idris, formerly of the Federal High Court, who gave the verdict, lacked jurisdiction to preside over the case, as he had been elevated to the Court of Appeal, and ceased to be a Judge of the Federal High Court, when he delivered the judgement.
The Supreme Court ordered that the trial, which took 12 years to finish, should start all over again, before another Judge.
Asked on Tuesday, if the EFCC had begun moves for the fresh trial, the Prosecuting Counsel for the EFCC said that an application had been submitted to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, and his decision is being awaited.
His words: “We are not filing new charges. We have applied to the Chief Judge to reassign the case, in line with the decision of the Supreme Court. We have yet to see whether it has been assigned.”