Directs him to report to EFCC or risk arrest
The former governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Kalu who is standing trial for alleged N7.65 billion fraud has had the bail granted him in 2007 retracted by the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.
The presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Idris who delivered the ruling on Monday explained that the bail was revoked because Kalu had flouted the court’s order and ordered him to submit himself to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) within 24 hours of his return to the country from Germany.
The judge also ordered the EFCC to arrest and detain Kalu should he fail to turn himself in within 24 hours of his return.
It would be recalled that the case continue on November 5, 2018 due to the defendant’s absence in court.
Kalu’s lawyer, Prof. Awa Kalu had, on November 5 told the judge that his client had gone abroad for surgery.
But the prosecuting counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Rotimi Jacobs had argued that he was not aware that Kalu obtained the court’s permission before travelling to Germany despite that he had deposited his passport in the court’s custody.
The matter was adjourned till Monday, November 12, 2018 for continuation of trial, but Kalu failed to make an appearance, leading to the revocation of his bail.
“I have perused the proceedings from court records and I discovered that one of the conditions for granting bail to the 1st defendant, who happens to be Orji Uzor Kalu, is that he should deposit his international passport with the court and the permission must be granted before he can travel outside the country for whatever reason.
“It is clear that the 1st defendant has flouted this order. No one, high or low, rich or poor can disobey a valid order of court and expect such court to show mercy.
“Consequently, the bail granted to the 1st defendant is hereby revoked.
“The first defendant is permitted to continue his medical treatment abroad unharrassed by security agencies.
“Upon the first defendant’s return into the country, he shall, at the point of entry, surrender his passport and other relevant travel documents to the EFCC.
“He shall also surrender himself to the EFCC within 24 hours of his return, failing which he shall be arrested and detained by the EFCC.
“Let me state that there is no doubt that the first defendant is entitled to and has a right to life; he has a right to seek medical treatment within and outside the shores of Nigeria; this right is further guaranteed by the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“In enjoying these rights, the first defendant has a duty to follow due process of the law. In this case, the first defendant acted outside the purview of the law and he is expected to be dealt with in accordance with the law.
“This is a court of law and a court of justice in accordance with the law. This court is also a court of equity, but he who seeks equity must do equity. It is said that like fire spits fire, so is equity.
“When you seek equity, you must do equity,” Justice Idris said in his ruling.
The judge, however, accommodated the doctor’s report claiming that that the All Progressives Congress (APC) proselyte should be admitted on bed rest for ten to twelve months.
“In line with the neurosurgeon’s advice from Germany which stated that the 1st defendant should be on hospital bed rest between ten to twelve months, this case is adjourned to January 23, 2019 for trial day to day,” said the judge.