Forgotten Case Of Looting

Advocacy For Good Governance and Transparency Initiative's picture

Offender(s)

    Charged: No
    Convicted:No

Story

On 27 July 2007, Kalu was arraigned before an Abuja High court on a 107-count charge of money laundering, official corruption and criminal diversion of public funds in excess of N5 billion. Specifically, EFCC accused Kalu of transfering billions of naira belonging to the Abia State government to his Slok Airlines. He was accused of transferring the funds over a period of time from the defunct Manny Bank (now part of Fidelity Bank) to Slok’s account at Inland Bank. He was also alleged to have, between 1999 and 2007, moved various sums of government money into Slok Investment, Slok Nigeria Limited, Slok Incorporated and other companies owned by him.

Kalu pleaded not guilty to the charges and his counsel asked the court for bail. But the court, presided over by Justice Binta Murtala Nyako, ordered his detention at Kuje Prison in Abuja, even as she fixed the date for the argument for bail. Kalu regained his freedom four days later. However, the EFCC obtained a court order to freeze his key assets, which would be handed over to Abia State government if Kalu was unable to prove that the funds used to establish his companies were not proceeds of graft. Five years after, with the charges still hanging around his neck, the former governor is touting himself as a possible candidate in the next presidential election. More ironically, Kalu, in a recent interview, announced his plan to establish a non-governmental organisation devoted to the fight against corruption!

If Kalu is to realise his presidential ambition, the most plausible platform for him should be People’s Progressive Alliance, PPA, which he established after his fallout with the leadership of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, through which he became governor. He contested the presidency on the PPA platform in 2007 and for a senatorial seat in 2011.

But the PPA is no longer enamoured of Kalu. Recently, the party called on the appropriate authorities to get serious about the trial of Kalu. “If the EFCC had put him through diligent trial, Orji Uzor Kalu should have been in jail by now rather than on the soap box canvassing for votes,” said PPA National Chairman, Ken Gbalokoma.

 

Case Type

Fraud

Money Involved

Web References

No References
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