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Group raises alarm over Change of Date of Orji Uzor Kalu N7.6bn Fraud trial

Anietie Udobit,Abuja

A group known as ‘Abia Network Against Corruption’, has raised alarm over sudden change of date fixed for the judgment in the Trial of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu over the alleged N7.6bn fraud leveled against him by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).

In a Press Conference on Tuesday December 3, the group said it was not out to interfere in the judicial proceedings, but curious as to what may have informed the change in date for the judgment.

The Convener of the Group, Chief Igwe Onyeka Igwe, who addressed the press said : “ We and other lovers of democracy were glad when Justice Idris of the Federal high court fixed December 2 for judgement in the over 12 years long trial of the former governor .

“As law abiding Nigerians we had patiently waited this long because we have implicit confidence in the judiciary and we believe that one day justice must surely come.

“But most tax payers in the state and other democrats who have patiently waited this long were however disappointed on Monday when the news filtered in that the judgement has been shifted to Thursday December 5. No reason was given for the change in date

The group also worried on how “Senator Kalu who by law (criminal trial) ought to have been physically present in court on Monday if the judgment was to come was reported to have travelled outside the country on official engagement.

“It means he was either privy to the shift in judgment date or he has other information to his disposal which we do not have. Such person standing trial of such monumental allegation should have been under security watch.

The group reiterates their support for the anti-corruption crusade of President Mohammadu Buhari, and calls on the president “to the seemingly brazen plot to arm twist the judiciary in the trial of Chief Kalu.

“We still see the outcome of the trial of Senator Kalu as a litmus test to the judiciary. The judicial as an important organ of government should rise up to the occasion”.