The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday closed its case in the trial of former Abia State Governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu.
EFCC re-arraigned Kalu, a former Director of Finance in Abia State Government House, Udeh Udeogu and Slok Nigeria Limited on 34- count charge of laundering N3.2billion.
They pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The Commission said the defendants allegedly diverted about N3.2billion from the Abia’s treasury while Kalu was the governor.
The court admitted the statement of a former Abia State ALGON Chairman, Chinedu Melechi, in which he disclosed that expenditures in the joint account of state and local governments are either statutory or by resolution.
The EFCC’s witness, Chidi Chukwuka, had on Thursday told the court that in line with code of conduct for public office holders, Kalu declared his assets at both his first term in office in 1999 and upon his re-election in 2003.
While being cross-examined by Kalu’s lawyer, Chief Awa Kalu (SAN), the witness disclosed that a petition authored by a former Deputy Governor of Abia State, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, against Dr. Kalu, was the basis of the investigation carried out by his team.
Chukwuka confirmed that the petition leading to Kalu’s trial was authoured by Abia Leaders Forum, raising allegations of money laundering and stealing against the ex-governor.
The investigator confirmed that the petition was signed by Senator Enyinne Abaribe, who was impeached as Abia State Deputy Governor by the state House of Assembly.
“You must be aware that the process of impeachment led to bad blood between the signatory and the first defendant,” Kalu said.
“We were not aware he was impeached. So, we didn’t take that into consideration. We looked at the issues before us and we followed it professionally,” the investigator said.
“I suggest to you that that bad blood led to Exhibit G (the petition),” the counsel said.
“My Lord, like I said earlier, in our practice at the EFCC, we look at issues in a petition without emotions or personal feelings towards persons that are involved,” Chukwuka responded.