The legal team of the Chief Whip of the Nigerian Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu, says its client will file a stay of execution after the Federal High Court, Lagos, sentenced him to 12 years in prison over charges tied to N7.2 billion fraud.
Concise News reports that Justice Muhammed Idris of the court convicted Kalu; former Director of Finance in Abia State, Jones Ude Udeogo; and a company Slok Nigeria Ltd of the alleged offences.
But one of the lawyers working for the former governor of Abia state, Charles Ewelunta, said, according to Daily Sun, that before appealing the ruling, the team will file applications for a stay of execution and bail pending appeal on Kalu’s behalf, which are permissible in law.
Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had arraigned Kalu alongside his company and Udeogu in July last year on a 39-Count amended charge.
The convicts were first arraigned in 2007 before Justice Adamu Bello but several adjournments and transfer of judges stalled the trial.
The court initially fixed December 2 to deliver judgment but announced last Friday that the judgment would be delivered on December 5.
“On counts one, two, three, and four, you are sentenced to five Years Imprisonment on each count. On counts six to 11, you are sentenced to three years imprisonment each. On counts 23 to 33 you are sentenced to three years imprisonment on each count, while on counts 34 to 38, you are sentenced to 12 years imprisonment each. On count 39, you are sentenced to five years imprisonment,” Justice Idris ruled.
As for the second defendant, Udeogu, the court sentenced him to three years imprisonment on counts 23 to 33, and 10 years imprisonment on counts 34 to 38. He was also sentenced to five years imprisonment on counts 39.
For the Company, Slok Nigeria Ltd, the court ordered that it be wound up and all its assets forfeited to the Federal Government.
According to the court, the terms of imprisonment shall run concurrently.
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