The Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos has adjourned the criminal trial of Orji Uzor Kalu, a former Governor of Abia State, and others to October 22, for parties to present their closing addresses.
The EFCC is prosecuting Kalu, who is also representing Abia North Senatorial district at the National Assembly alongside Ude Udeogu, his Commissioner for Finance and a company, Slok Nigeria Limited, owned by the former governor.
Justice Mohammed Idris, the presiding judge, adjourned following a long examination and cross examination of Udeogu and an expert witness, Manuel Ahunanya.
Ahunanya gave expert opinion on some of the exhibit entered into evidence by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
During cross-examination, Rotimi Jacobs, the prosecuting counsel, attempted to discredit Ahunanya as an expert witness.
The witness, who was second person to help Udeogu’ defense, gave testimony on the requirement of paying a bank draft and cheque into another bank account.
He mentioned that the recipient as stated on the bank draft must appear as same in the bank statement when such instruction is paid into the recipient’s account.
He also stated that the account of the recipient must have the same name as it appears on the bank draft.
Trying to discredit the witness, Jacobs, queried the witness on the tasks he carried out when he was an employee of ABD bank.
He also queried if the witness is competent enough to give testimony on the practices of the Inland Revenue Bank, where the bank draft in question emanated from, having not worked in the bank.
Following the cross examination, KC Nwofor (SAN), asked for an adjournment to allow him provide his witness, who was unavailable.
However, the presiding judge denied the request, stating constraint of time.
Subsequently, the parties agreed on time to present their closing remarks to the court.
The judge agreed that the defense counsel take 21 days to prepare their closing remarks and another 21 days to the prosecution to do same.
The defense would get another 7 days to prepare their reply after the prosecution’s closing remarks.
The case was consequently adjourned to October 22 for both parties to file their closing remarks.
Kalu and the others are facing a 39-count amended charge bordering on conspiracy and money laundering.