Former governor of Abia State Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu has thanked all Nigerians who have shown concern about his health condition as he recuperates from a medical procedure in Germany.
He also reaffirmed his respect for the judiciary and judges, declaring that members of the Bench deserve respect and that their decision in court “must be respected until toppled at a superior jurisdiction.”
According to Kalu, “I have the highest respect for the personnel and processes of our judicial system. Indeed, I’m a faithful adherent of the dictum, which states that ‘no height is high enough to stand on to disrespect the judiciary and no depth is deep enough to be used as an excuse for such dishonor.’”
Kalu underwent a successful surgical operation in Germany last month.
His absence in court, following the medical treatment, had caused Justice Mohammed Bello of the Federal High Court to revoke his bail.
In a thank you letter from Wiesbaden, Germany, Kalu expressed thanks to President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, former heads of state of the country; and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, for identifying with him over his health condition.
He also thanked National Chairman of his political party, Adams Oshiomhole and his PDP and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) counterparts, Uche Secondus and Victor Oye respectively.
Kalu also thanked governors, former governors, National Assembly members, captains of industry, religious leaders and traditional rulers across the country, among others, for reaching out to him on his hospital bed.
He said: “I wish to sincerely, and from the deepest recess of my heart, thank the president and the vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, former president, former heads of state, the presidential candidate of the PDP, the National Chairman of APC, the National Chairman of PDP, the National Chairman of APGA, the National Chairman of ID, numerous current and former governors, members of the National Assembly, captains of industry, religious leaders from both the Christian and the Islamic faiths, traditional rulers, the president and members of Igbere Welfare Union, the German authorities, family and friends who either called or visited in person or through their representatives, conveyed messages of sympathy and well wishes to me and my family while I was undergoing a medical procedure in a German hospital and through my current phase of recuperation. I am most grateful to every Nigerian who prayed for my quick recovery.”
Apparently reacting to the controversy generated by the revocation of his bail by Justice Idris over his absence in court as a result of his medical treatment in Germany, Kalu said: “All right thinking citizens must condemn reckless commentaries on social media or the pages of newspapers that potentially threaten these ideals. Any inappropriate commentary on the decision of Justice Mohammed Idris to revoke my bail is not acceptable to me and should be discontinued, irrespective of the positive dispositions of the propagators towards me.
“The highest demonstration of affection or loyalty to me will best be measured by the degree to which this admonition is heeded. Our judges deserve unqualified respect and the sanctity of their decisions must be respected until toppled at a superior jurisdiction.”
Explaining his absence in court, he said before he travelled for medical treatment, he notified the relevant authorities, while expressing his commitment towards the conclusion of his case.
Said he: “I ensured adequate notifications were delivered and acknowledged by the relevant organs before travelling with my wife for my medical treatment in Europe. Unfortunately, the court case involving my humble self and others, which was adjourned sine die on the last date on which the matter came up for hearing, was subsequently listed for hearing on a new date, which conflicted with the already scheduled critical surgery appointment.”
He said he had, on three occasions, postponed such “medical appointments in order to present myself in court,” adding: “I had always placed this matter over and above all other personal considerations because defending my personal integrity and uprightness supersedes all other personal interests.”
Saying that it was expedient he travelled for the medical treatment, Kalu said: “However, my deteriorating health condition and the emergency status it assumed made it absolutely imperative for the doctors to insist on carrying out the necessary medical procedure without further delay.”
On his commitment to the court processes relating to the fraud case instituted against him and others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Kalu said out of 64 court sittings he had attended 62, saying his absence in the last two sittings was due to critical ill health.
The former governor condemned attacks on the judiciary for doing its job, insisting: “Within the bounds of decorum and decency, acceptable scrutiny and analysis of judgments could be allowed in learned journals by experts and professionals. The freedom to pontificate on the implications of court judgments and rulings form a fundamental part of the freedom of speech, limited by the necessity to avoid actions or inactions that might give rise to sub judice, embarrassment to members of the Bench and threat to the welfare and wellbeing of the custodians of our judiciary.”
Kalu gave notice of his resolved to return to Nigeria to comply with the court order revoking his bail.
He said: “Notwithstanding the fact that the medical experts in charge of managing my health condition are insistent that I must remain under their close watch till the end of January 2019 to enable them render the best clinical services and thus guarantee the best outcome in my circumstances, I have, however, duly informed the German authorities, hospital management and my doctors of my decision to immediately travel back to Nigeria to comply with the court ruling, as a law-abiding citizen.
“I will, therefore, return to Nigeria on the 30th of November, 2018 before returning to German on 10th December, 2018 and 22nd January 2019 for further medical examination.”