A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday ordered a stay of proceedings in the N7.1 billion fraud case against former Abia State governor Senator Orji Kalu.
The ex-governor’s 12-year imprisonment had been overturned by the Supreme Court on May 8, 2020.
The apex court also ordered a retrial after an appeal filed by Kalu’s co-defendant Ude Udeogu a former director of finance and accounts in Abia in 2007.
However, in an ex parte application, Kalu sought the leave of court “to apply for an order of prohibiting the federal republic of Nigeria through the EFCC its officers, servants, others, agents, privies and any other person or bodies deriving authority from the federal republic of Nigeria, from retrying him on charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/56/2007 between FRN vs Orji Kalu & 2 ors or any other charge based on the same facts de novo, there being no extant judgment and ruling of a competent court in Nigeria mandating same”.
Kalu said he was exempted from the retrial order of the Supreme Court as it was particular to his co-defendant.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, ruling on the application on Monday, granted leave to the defendant to pursue his application seeking to stop his retrial.
The judge ordered a stay of proceedings until the determination of the application.