Federal High Court gives Kalu 7-day ultimatum
A federal high court in Lagos gave a former Abia State governor Orji Uzor Kalu a seven-day ultimatum to appear before it after failing to come for two sittings in arrow.
The high court judge, Justice Muhammed Idris gave this order at a resumed hearing on Monday. Kalu failed to appear on September 10 and was also absent on Monday.
The ex-governor of Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu, is facing trial over a ₦7.65 billion fraud which he allegedly committed while in office.
Kalu’s lawyer, Professor Awa Kalu, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) told Justice Idris his client was away in Germany for a surgical operation.
He said: “my client has been advised by his doctors to remain in Germany for some time to recuperate.” He also noted that the judge was fully aware, and had also given them permission.
The EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) said he was surprised at the ex-governor’s absence from court, adding that he did not know when the ex-governor obtained the court’s permission to travel out of the country.
Jacobs said, “things must be done in accordance with the law. In my own view, what happened is that the first defendant has jumped bail. This is an attempt to further frustrate this trial because no application was made to the court to travel.”
Justice Idris noted that the court received a mail confirming Kalu’s treatment. He also said he would adjourn the case for the last time, emphasising that Kalu must return from Germany within seven days and appear before the court.
“I have always stated that every citizen of this country is entitled to and has the right to seek medical treatment abroad,” Idris said.
The matter was adjourned till November 12, 2018, for the continuation of the trial.