Following the sentenced of former Governor of Abia state, Orji Kalu, for 12 years’ imprisonment after he was found guilty of N7.2 billion fraud and money laundering, the All Progressives Congress (APC) expresses disappointment.
Reacting to the sentence, the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Chief Donatus Nwankpa, said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that he was disappointed and angry with the judgment.
Nwankpa, who was a member of the Abia House of Assembly when Kalu was governor, said that the judgment was not fair.
“The party will meet to take a position on the judgment but as an individual, I am very saddened by the judgment.
“I am not convinced that judgment was given,” he said, adding that the court’s verdict sustained his doubts about the integrity and objectivity of the nation’s judiciary.
A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday sentenced Kalu who now joined the list of ex-governors convicted of corruption, fraud and money laundering.
Justice Muhammed Idris convicted Kalu on all the 39 counts preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and sentenced him to a concurrent jail term of 12 years.
The EFCC prosecuted Kalu for 12 years together with Jones Udeogo, the state Commissioner for Finance during his tenure as the governor.
Kalu’s company, Slok Nig. Ltd., was charged along with Kalu and Udeogo.
In a 288-page judgement, Idris also found Udeogo guilty on 34 counts and sentenced him to a concurrent jail term of 10 years.
The judge also found Slok Nig. Ltd. guilty on all the 39 counts.
On counts one, two, three and four, Idris sentenced Kalu to five years’ imprisonment each, while on counts six to 11, he sentenced the former governor to three years’ imprisonment each.
On counts 23 to 33, he sentenced him to three years’ imprisonment each, while on counts 34 to 38, he sentenced him to 12 years’ jail term each.
On the last count, the judge sentenced Kalu to five years’ imprisonment.
The court sentenced Udeogo to three years’ imprisonment on counts 23 to 33, and sentenced him to 10 years’ imprisonment on counts 34 to 38.
He sentenced him to five years’ imprisonment on count 39. The judge held that the sentences should run concurrently.
The court ordered that Slok Nig. Ltd. should be wound up and all its assets forfeited to the Federal Government.
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) says the conviction and sentencing of the former governor of Abia Orji Kalu, on N7.56 billion frauds is further proof that the war against corruption is in full swing,
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju in Abuja on Thursday, BMO said Kalu, being a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was not shielded from prosecution, contrary to what opposition elements had been saying about the ruling party.
However, Mr Maduka Okoro, the South-East Media Aide to Kalu, told NAN that Kalu would appeal the judgment “to allow other judges and a higher court take another look at the case.”