The Supreme Court, on Friday, nullified the judgment that convicted and sentenced Orji Uzor-Kalu, the former governor of Abia State, to 12 years imprisonment and also ordered fresh trial.
Justice Amina Augie who led a seven-man panel of Justices held that the trial Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court in Lagos acted without jurisdiction.
“Liman was no longer a judge of the Federal High Court as at the time he sat and delivered the judgement that convicted the defendants for allegedly stealing about N7.1 billion from Abia state treasury, his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited and former Director of Finance in Abia State, Jones Udeogu.
According to the judgement, `Justice Liman, having been elevated to the Court of Appeal before then, lacked the powers to return to sit as a High Court Judge.
“The Fiat that was issued to him by the Court of Appeal President pursuant to section 396(7) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act was unconstitutional.
On Dec. 5, 2019, the Federal High Court in Lagos sentenced Kalu, to 12 years’ imprisonment for N7.2 billion fraud and money laundering.