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Ex-Gov Kalu’s firm battles to stop retrial in N7.1bn alleged fraud




Slok Nigeria Limited, the family company of former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu has been granted permission to challenge the validity of the 32-count money laundering criminal charges billed to be slammed on it by the federal government.

The federal government through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed a money laundering case involving Kalu, Slok Limited and an ex-Finance Director in the state, Ude Jones Udeogu.

The trio was ordered to be put on fresh trial by the Supreme Court following their indictment in the alleged N7.1B fraud.

Kalu is currently a Senator representing Abia North in the Senate.

Justice Inyang Ekwo granted the permission on Monday while ruling on an ex-parte motion argued by Slok’s lawyer, Marvel Akpoyibo.

Justice Ekwo ordered the company to, within seven days, serve the respondents in the case marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/475/2021 – the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN), Kalu and Udeogu.

The judge, however, adjourned till July 13 for hearing.

Slok was tried and convicted with Kalu and Undeogu in the N7.1 billion money laundering case, which trial was later set aside by the Supreme Court in a judgment on May 8, 2020, on the grounds that the trial judge, having been elevated to Court of Appeal ought not to have continued to hear the case.

In the judgment given in an appeal, marked: SC/62C/2019 filed by Udeogu, the Supreme Court ordered a retrial in the case.

But Slok in the ex-parte is seeking to prevent its fresh retrial which the court, on Monday, granted it permission to prosecute.

In the new suit, Slok is seeking to prohibit the Federal Government and its agents, including the EFCC from retrying it based on the same case on which it was earlier convicted and sentenced, arguing that it would amount to being subjected to double jeopardy.

Slok also argued that such a retrial was unnecessary because there was “no order of a superior court in Nigeria mandating the same.”

It is also seeking a perpetual injunction restraining the FG, through the EFCC, from “further retrying, harassing and/or intimidating the applicant with respect to charge No: FHC/ABJ/CR/56/07 FRN v. Orji Uzor Kalu and 2 others or any matter connected thereto or therewith, or any other charge based on the same facts or having the same ingredients.”

Slok argued that having already been tried and convicted, it is protected from double jeopardy by the Constitution and by the law.

“That there is no order of a superior court in Nigeria mandating the retrial or trial de novo of the applicant.

“The applicant has received a hearing notice at the instance of the first respondent (FRN), dated 18th January 2021 for the retrial of this same charge.

“The trial of the applicant, having been pronounced a nullity by the Supreme Court in its judgment of 8th May 2020 the first respondent cannot institute or relist the same charge against the applicant.

“The Federal High Court has jurisdiction to intervene to grant a preventive remedy for the protection of the rights of the applicant.”

Kalu had also filed a similar application in which he made the same arguments to query the decision of the EFCC to retry him.

The case, which is also before Justice Ekwo, is yet to be decided.

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Cholera outbreak in Cross River Community claims 51 lives



The death toll from the Cholera outbreak in Ekureku, Abi Local Government Area, Cross River State, has risen from 20 on Saturday to 51 on Monday.

Bernard Egbe, the clan head of the community, stated this when he received Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Sandy Onor, who was in the community to sympathise with them.



The clan chief, who described the situation as unfortunate, stated that many people infected with the disease were being treated at various health facilities in the area.

He went on to say that four of the victims being treated were in critical condition.

He stated that they had received assistance from WHO, UNICEF, and state government officials.

The cholera outbreak, which began on Thursday, affected ten villages in the Ekureku clan, he said.





Mr Onor, the PDP governorship candidate, said he felt the people’s pain but urged them to remain hopeful.

He stated that if elected, he would ensure that the people of the state have safe drinking water.
He gave cash as a consolation prize to each of the Ekureku community’s ten affected villages.




Meanwhile, Janet Ekpeyong, the Director-General of the state Primary Healthcare Development Agency, stated on Sunday that the state government is on top of the situation.





She stated that the government had used both human and material resources to stop the spread of the disease.

“The state Government has deployed a response team together with representatives from the World Health Organisation, the Nigerian Red Cross and Wash Programme.






“The combined team have all intervened accordingly and helped to save lives and prevent further spread of the disease,” she stated.







A case of the disease has also been reported in a remote village in the state’s Odukpani Local Government Area.

Iwara Iwara, Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Health, confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday.







Mr Iwara stated that the outbreak was reported on Sunday night and that the government had sent men and materials to the area.






READ ALSO:Drama as Cross River State Governor locks out staff for late coming.

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Currency hawkers selling scarce new naira notes at party venues.



Despite complaints that several bank branches had run out of the small quantities of the newly redesigned naira notes allocated to them by their head offices as early as 12 noon on Thursday, large wads of the new notes have saturated party venues, with hawkers charging N200 on N1,000.





On Thursday and Friday, journalists who visited banking halls in several cities across the country, particularly Lagos and Abuja, confirmed that there was a limited supply of the redesigned notes, as bank tellers mixed a few notes with the old ones for over-the-counter withdrawals, while automated teller machines continued to dispense old bank notes.






Further investigation revealed that several bank branches had yet to receive their new note allocations, with many bank officials informing our correspondents that the new notes were still on their way.

On the other hand, at a party in Ibadan, Oyo State, on Saturday, a woman was seen freely hawking newly redesigned wads of N200 bank notes.







However, officials at some of the bank branches that still had the new notes told reporters that each cashier was given N100,000 of the new N1,000 for onward disbursement to customers seeking over-the-counter payments, and that they do not yet have the N500 and N200 denominations.








Customers were also seen depositing old bills over the counter, while cashiers at bank branches were handing out more old naira notes.

Central Bank of Nigeria had earlier clarified on its website under currency management, that it is against the law to sell currency banknotes.








READ ALSO:Massive bombing by the Nigeria Air Force hits bandit hideouts, many killed.







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6 people dead, 25 injured in a ghastly road accident in Kogi state.



The Kogi Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) confirmed that six people were killed and 25 others were injured in an accident on the Okene-Ogori road on Saturday.

Mr Stephen Dawulung, Sector Commander in Lokoja yesterday, revealed that the lone accident involved an articulated vehicle carrying 45 people and cows.






According to the sector commander, the accident occurred around noon and killed some of the cows.

The victims of the accident were taken to Ageva General Hospital in Okene, Ajunko Clinic and Maternity in Ibilo, and Ogbagidi General Hospital in Okene, according to Dawulung.






He said: “When the accident, which involved an IVECO trailer conveying cows and 45 persons down South, occurred by a graveyard just a few kilometres to Ogori Magongo along Okene-Ogori road, Kogi, our officers and men were timely in response to it.”

“Our officers in conjunction with the Police and military personnel came to the rescue and rushed the injured to four different medical centres for medical treatment. The corpses of the dead have also been deposited at the morgue of the Ageva General Hospital, Okene.”







The accident, according to Dawulung, was caused by speed, which was uncontrollable at “a sharp bend.”

The sector commander, who described the incident as “sad and unfortunate,” stated that the command would continue to carry out speed, overloading, and mixed loading enforcement and education programs.











The sector commander, who described the incident as “sad and unfortunate,” stated that the command would continue to carry out speed, overloading, and mixed loading enforcement and education programs.

He defined mixed loading as the loading of goods and passengers in trucks and other vehicles designed solely to transport goods.

He advised motorists to maintain strict adherence to road traffic regulations at all times in order to avoid such calamitous incidents.










READ ALSO:Man shoots his step-father dead while testing charm in Adamawa state









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