Apprehension as ex-Governor Orji Kalu has his day in court - Welcome to Uju Ayalogu's Blog

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Monday, 5 June 2017

Apprehension as ex-Governor Orji Kalu has his day in court

Apprehension as ex-Governor Orji Kalu has his day in court

Witness denies signed documents, cheques under ex-Governor Kalu

- Even though former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu has joined the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), his trial over alleged money laundering has continued

- At the Federal High Court Lagos, sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, a witness and staff of the Abia state government revealed how his signature was forged

At the continued trial of a former governor of Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu, on Monday, June 5, a prosecution witness, Romanus Madu, denied knowledge of some drafts that emanated from Fidelity Bank Plc during the administration of Kalu.

Madu, the permanent secretary at the Government House, Umuahia, spoke before Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court Lagos, sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.

The former governor Kalu is being prosecuted alongside his company, Slok Nigeria Limited, and his former commissioner for Finance, Jones James Udeogu, for money laundering to the tune of N3.2 billion.

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The witness, a staff of the Abia government, revealed his signature was forged

Madu, a former cashier at the Government House during the administration of Kalu, told the court that he was invited by the commission some years ago and was showed some documents, including the bank drafts and cheques amounting to several millions of naira that emanated from Fidelity Bank bearing his signature and handwriting as the marker.

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Madu, led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, however told the court that he was not a signatory to the bank drafts.

He also denied knowledge of the handwritten applications for some of the bank drafts bearing his signature and handwriting.

Madu told the court that there were other fictitious names that appeared on some of the bank drafts.

The evidence against the defendants was tendered and admitted in evidence as exhibits E10 to E 69 by the court.

However, counsel to the defendants urged the court to reject the evidence on the grounds that “Madu is not an expert and does not have the special skill in giving evidence.”

Jacobs, while responding, told the court that Madu was qualified and competent to give evidence on the grounds that his signature and handwriting were forged in respect of the bank drafts before the court.

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Jacobs, therefore, prayed the court to overrule the objections of the defence counsel.

Justice Idris adjourned the matter to June 6, 2017 to determine the authenticity of the signatories and handwriting applications.

Meanwhile, Orji Uzor Kalu, has said President Muhammadu Buhari’s health has improved considerable.

The former governor of Abia state also disclosed that the president will be back in the country before June 11.

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