Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court, Lagos, has told the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that he has no legal authority to continue hearing the charge against the former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, and two others over alleged fraud.
Justice Idris who has been elevated as Judge of Court of Appeal said the new fiat given to him to hear part of the case by the President, of Court of Appeal did not cover hearing of the former governor’s case.
Addressing parties in the matter, the judge said he could not continue with the hearing of the case because he was yet to be issued any fiat to do so by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa.
“This matter was listed today because it was adjourned till today for defence. What has happened is that the last fiat that was issued by the President of the Court of Appeal has expired at the end of November 2018.
“On the 10th of January, 2019, I received a fresh fiat in respect of some matters that I have started (hearing) and some new matters but this particular case was not mentioned. For this reason, I have a strong feeling that I shouldn’t continue with proceedings in this case unless there is a further directive from the President of the Court of Appeal.
“I should not proceed further; otherwise I might be acting without authority. In the circumstance, I am of the view that further proceedings shouldn’t go on until I receive further information by way of fresh fiat from the Court of Appeal President. As soon as I receive further instruction, hearing notice will be sent to counsels,” the judge said.
Justice Idris was elevated to the Court of Appeal on June 13, 2018, and has been sitting on cases at the Federal High Court in Lagos each time a fiat was issued to him by the President of the Court of Appeal.