A former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, has been sentenced by the Federal High Court in Lagos to up to 12 years in prison for N7.65bn fraud, including various sentences ranging from 3 years to 5 years on 27 counts.
Justice Mohammad Idris also convicted his two other accomplices, who were found guilty of N7.65bn fraud, and sentenced them.
They have been given multiple sentences for 10 years to 3 years.
Kalu’s co-defendants are his company, Slok Nigeria Limited; and Udeh Udeogu, who was Chief Finance and Accounting Officer at the House of Abia State Government during Kalu’s term as Governor.
The judge also ordered Slok to be wounded and the federal government to confiscate its assets.
Kalu, who is the chief whip of the Senate, smiled at reporters and said,’ 2023, we come here’ as Correctional Services officials led him out of the courtroom after his sentence.
He was also seen telling prison guards, "where are you taking us to?”.
Then Kalu begged correctional officers not to handcuff him in public.
The former governor, who was shaken, said, “Where are you going to take us to now? Don’t handcuff me, please. I’m going to follow you.” The case started in 2007, twelve years ago, when they were first brought to trial for the offences, but before another judge.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has shown in an amended 39 counts that they have conspired and diverted N7.65bn from the Abia State coffers.