Kalu
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KaluThe Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday convicted a former governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, of N7.1bn fraud and sentenced him to 12 years’ imprisonment.

The judgment, delivered by Justice Mohammed Idris, came 12 years after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission filed fraud charges against Kalu in 2007.

Kalu was convicted alongside his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited, and Jones Udeogu, who served under him as the director of finance and account at the Abia State Government House in Umuahia.

While Udeogu was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, the judge ordered the winding up of Slok Nigeria Limited, holding that its assets and properties be forfeited to government.

Out of the 39 counts filed against the trio, the judge convicted Kalu of the entire 28 counts in which his name featured. On each of counts 1-11 and 39, he was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment; on each of counts 23-33, he was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment; and on each of counts 34-38, he was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment.

Justice Idris said the sentences should run concurrently, meaning that Kalu would spend 12 years in jail.

As for the second convict, Udeogu, Justice Idris found him guilty of 11 out of the 16 counts in which his name featured. He was pronounced not guilty on five counts. On each of counts 23-25 and 27-32, Udeogu was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. On each of counts 34-38, he was sentenced to 10 years; while the judge gave him five years on count 39.

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