A federal high court in Lagos has convicted Senator Orji Uzo Kalu of N7.65billion and sentenced him to 12years in prison for fraud perpetuated when he was Abia State governor between 1999 and 2007.
Kalu was convicted alongside his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited and his former director of finance, Ude Udeogu who received a 10years sentence.
In addition, the court also ordered the winding up Slok Nigeria Limited owned by Orji Kalu.
Mr Kalu has been facing trial for over a decade after he was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly carting away billions of naira while he served as Abia State governor.
Mr Kalu was tried alongside his company, Slok Nigeria Limited, and Udeh Udeogu, who was Director of Finance and Accounts at the Abia State Government House during Kalu’s tenure as governor.
The judge concluded the trial in August.
On October 22, both the prosecution and defence counsel adopted their written submissions before the court.
The judge then reserved judgement to be delivered today, December 5.
Mr Kalu is currently a senator representing Abia State.
In an amended 39-count charge, the defendants were accused by the EFCC of conspiring and diverting over N7 billion from the coffers of the state.
In one of the counts, the EFCC alleged that Mr Kalu, who was Abia State Governor between 1999 and 2007, “did procure Slok Nigeria Limited – a company solely owned by you and members of your family – to retain in its account, domiciled with the then Inland Bank Plc, Apapa branch, Lagos, an aggregate sum of N7,197,871,208.7 on your behalf.”
The prosecution claimed that the N7.1 billion “formed part of the funds illegally derived from the treasury of the Abia State Government and which was converted into several bank drafts before they were paid into the said company’s account.”