Court turns down Kalu’s bail application
Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court on Monday dismissed the bail application of the jailed former governor of Abia State, Mr. Orji Uzor Kalu, pending the determination of his appeal against his conviction.
The court, it would be recalled, had on December 5 sentenced Kalu to 12 years imprisonment after being found guilty on all the 39 count charges brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In one of the counts, the EFCC alleged that Kalu, who was Abia State governor between 1999 and 2007, “did procure Slok Nigeria Limited – a company solely owned by you and members of your family – to retain in its account , domiciled with the then Inland Bank Plc , Apapa branch , Lagos , an aggregate sum of N7,197,871,208 .7 on your behalf. ”
He was sentenced alongside his former director of finance and accounts at Abia State Government House, Mr. Udeh Udeogu.
However, two weeks after the sentencing, Kalu sought post-conviction bail on medical grounds.
He claimed that he had health challenges that could not be managed at the medical facilities at the Ikoyi Custodial Centre, Lagos and prayed the court to grant him bail.
Besides, he said as the chief whip of the senate and the senator representing Abia North senatorial district, the interest of his constituents would be in jeopardy if he was kept behind bars.
But counsel for the EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs opposed the bail application, asking the court to dismiss it.
“Although bail is generally a right of an accused as guaranteed by the Constitution, it is not a right available to a convict because the presumption of innocence had crystallised into guilt and conviction,” he said.
But the court ruled that the bail application lacked merit.(Newsgazett)