Reactions have continued to trail yesterday’s verdict of the Supreme Court that freed the former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu.
On its part, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said the Supreme Court’s nullification of the conviction Uzor Kalu was unfortunate.
Also nullified was the judgement against his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited and Jones Udeogu, a former Director of Finance and Account of Abia State Government.
The apex court ordered their fresh trial at the lower court.
EFCC Head, Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, in a statement noted that the court based its verdict because Justice Mohammed Idris, who convicted Kalu and others had been elevated to the Court of Appeal before the judgment and returned to the lower court to deliver the judgement which is considered illegal.
EFCC said it considers the judgement of the apex court as quite unfortunate.
The agency called it a technical ambush against the trial of the former governor.
The Commission declared preparedness for a fresh and immediate retrial.
The spokesman said that EFCC’s evidence against Kalu and others were overwhelming.
“The corruption charges against Kalu still subsist because the Supreme Court did not acquit him of them.
“The entire prosecutorial machinery of the EFCC would be launched in a fresh trial where justice is bound to be served in due course,” Oyewale added.
Similarly, the All Progressives Congress in Abia State has reacted to the ruling. In an interview with newsmen in Umuahia on Friday, state Publicity Secretary of the party, Benedict Godson, expressed enthusiasm over Senator Kalu’s freedom, stressing that the Senate Majority Chief Whip would not relent in his avowed commitment and determination towards ensuring dividends of democracy get to the doorsteps of the people of Abia North Senatorial district.
According to the APC, “His constituents have cried for so long, Abians have cried for so long, Nigerians have cried for so long and today, God decided to hear all of us and set this great man free. We say glory be to God for his love.
“Recounting his profile and achievements will only be meaningful to the ears of a child born today because his name is as popular and famous as water which is the most popular thing on earth”.
“It’s obvious everyone still remembers he is the Chief Whip of Nigeria Senate and two-term Governor of our great state Abia. His freedom is not for him. It’s a freedom for Nigeria. Many people have been praying, fasting and waiting for a day like this because they know that his freedom brings fresh air into the lives of many families.
“Here in Abia, today (Friday) should have been a festival of joy in our streets if not for the COVID-19 pandemic. I bet you that even the trees are rejoicing because the man of the people is free. We are never surprised or shocked with what the Supreme Court did by quashing the erroneous judgement that convicted and sentenced our leader to 12 years imprisonment”.
The party added, “It’s also not surprising that the apex court took a unanimous decision where a seven-man panel of Justices agreed that the Federal High Court in Lagos acted without jurisdiction when it convicted him.
“This is another breakthrough for a man whose path is filled with honour and respect. He’s a man whom God has blessed from birth and no man can curse him.”