- May be home this week
Former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, may leave Kuje prison this week.
Global Upfront Newspapers (GUN) was told exclusively that the former Governor’s release from the Nigerian Correctional Services cantre, Kuje is being delayed by documents which need to travel between Abuja and Lagos as he was convicted by a Lagos High Court and only was transferred to Kuje on special request.
News had gone round that Senator Kalu has remained in Kuje prison because the judgment of the Supreme Court does not affect him. The reports alleged that the apex Court did not issue any order for Kalu’s release because he did not file any application for such.
But our credible source said that the Supreme Court ruling implies because Kalu is the main issue in the suit.
Kalu’s co- convict and appellant in the Supreme Court suit, Mr. Ude Jones Udeogu, had challenged the propriety of a Court of Appeal Judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, to try him.
The Comptroller-General of Nigerian Correctional Services, Mr. Jaafar Ahmed, has also refused to release Kalu because there was no order yet from the Supreme Court.
It was learnt that Kalu may have to approach the Court of Appeal, where he has a pending matter, to ask for his release following the dismissal of the judgment of the Federal High Court, Lagos by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court lead judgment delivered by Justice Ejembi Eko reads in part: “I hereby allow this appeal. Section 386(7) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act ( ACJA), 2015 is in my view, an unnecessarily gratuitous legislative interference with, intrusion into or an outright usurpation of the appointing powers of the Executive arm consigned specifically to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the Constitution in Sections 250(1) and 238(2) thereof.
“The “FlAT/permission” issued on 2nd July, 2018, by the President, Court of Appeal to the Honourable, Justice M.. B. ldris, JCA to proceed to the Federal High Court, Lagos and conclude the part-heard .criminal matter: FHC/ABJ/CR/56/07-, notwithstanding the fact that the Honourable, Justice M. B. Idris, JCA, upon his elevation to the Court of Appeal had ceased, not only to be a Judge of the Federal High Court but also to have and exercise the powers and jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, is ultra vires Sections 1(2)(a) and 19(3) and (4) of the Federal High Court Act, the same being an outright usurpation of the powers of the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.
“The said FIAT/Permission, issued without any lawful or constitutional authority and being a nullity, is hereby set aside. AII steps, including actions, proceedings and decisions and orders issued, taken and/or conducted pursuant to the said FIAT/Permission dated 2nd July, 2018 as they pertain to and relate to the Appellant(Ude) herein are hereby set aside. The judgment of the Court of Appeal No. ‘CA/L/1064C/2018, delivered on 24th April 2019, particularly in respect of the Appellant and as it affected him is hereby set aside.
“The case No. FHC/ABJ/CR/56/2007 as it pertains or relates to the Appellant as the 2nd Defendant at the trial court, is hereby remitted to the Chief Judge of Federal High Court for re-assignment to another judge if the Federal High Court for trial de novo. Appeal allowed. ”
As at press time, the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Correctional Service Mr. Jaafar Ahmed has refused to release Kalu.
A top source said:” Kalu is still at our Correctional Centre in Kuje because there us no enrolled order from the Supreme Court to release him. There are no words from the Supreme Court but the judgment was clear on Ude Udeogu. We will not release him until there is an order from a competent court.”