Former Abia State governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu and two others who are standing trial before the Federal High Court, Lagos, over alleged fraud, yesterday, declared that they have no case to answer.
Kalu, Udeh Jones Udeogu and Slok Nigeria Limited made the declaration in a separate no case submission applications filed before Justice Mohammed Idris who his presiding over charge preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In the trial, EFCC called 18 and tendered several documentary exhibit, mainly financial instruments like cheques, bank drafts and bank statements of account.
At the resumed hearing of the matter, yesterday, Kalu’s lawyer, Chief Awa Kalu (SAN) told the judge that he has filed a motion for no case submission on behalf of his client. He said the former governor has no case to answer with regard to the alleged fraud charge.
“A motion for no case submission was filed on behalf of the first defendant (Dr. Kalu) on May 28 and it has been served on the prosecution,” the silk said.
The other two defendants have equally filed separate motions for no case submission through their lawyers, Chief Solo Akuma (SAN) and Kingsley Nwofo (SAN).
In their applications against the charge, the defendants’ counsel argued that EFCC failed to prove their case against them, adding that none of the prosecution witnesses linked them to the crime
EFCC’s lawyer, Adebisi Adeniyi who held brief for Rotimi Jacobs (SAN ) had earlier drew the court’s attention to an amended charge filed by the commission before commencement of proceedings.
He said: “We did inform the court at the last adjourned date that we want to file an amended charge. We have filed the amended charge this morning. We were also served with the defendants’ motion for no case submissions,” he said.
Following revelations by the defence lawyers that they were yet to be served the amended charge, Adeniyi opted to serve copies of it on the defence lawyers in the face of the court.
The move was opposed to by the defence lawyers on the ground that the prosecution was only permitted by law to serve it on the defendants.
However, in a bench ruling, Justice Idris directed the service of the charge on the defendants inside the court.
Afterwards, the defence lawyers sought for an adjournment to enable them study the amended charge and come up with a decision on what to do over it.
Justice Idris adjourned further hearing in the matter to June 13.