SENATE Chief Whip Orji Uzor Kalu was on Thursday jailed for 12 years after a 12-year trial for fraud and money laundering.
Kalu was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for N7.65 billion fraud committed during his tenure as Abia State governor between 1999 and 2007.
A Federal High Court in Lagos also convicted a Director of Finance and Accounts at the Abia State Government House during Kalu’s tenure, Udeh Udeogu, and Kalu’s firm, Slok Nigeria Ltd, on each of the 39 counts brought against them by the EFCC.
Justice Mohammed Idris sentenced Kalu to 133 years imprisonment and Udeogu to 56 years imprisonment. He ordered that Slok be wound up and its assets forfeited to the Federal Government.
Kalu, who a senator on the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was sentenced to five years each on counts 1 to 11, totaling 55 years; three years each on counts 23 to 33, totaling 30 years; and 12 years each on counts 34 to 38, totaling 48 years.
The sentences will run concurrently, meaning Kalu will only spend a maximum of 12 years in jail.
Justice Idris said Kalu, the Senator representing Abia North, committed a crime against humanity.
Five ex-governors have been jailed so far for corruption. They are: Lucky Igbinedion (Edo), James Ibori (Delta), Rev. Jolly Nyame (Taraba), Senator Joshua Dariye (Plateau) and Kalu
Credit: The Nation