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Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Sen. Orji Kalu Sponsors Bill For Amendment Of ACJA 2015 To Accommodate Fair Hearing

Sen. Orji Kalu Sponsors Bill For Amendment Of ACJA 2015 To Accommodate Fair Hearing

A bill seeking to amend the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, sponsored by the Senate’s chief whip, Orji Kalu, has passed first reading

The bill was read by the clerk of the Senate Mr. Nelson Ayewoh and was passed for second reading after a voice vote presided by over the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan.

The Bill, according to Senator Kalu, seeks to amend the sections of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act that contradict the principles of fair hearing and court jurisdiction as provided in the Constitution thereby strengthening the Act.

The Bill is his first legislative activity since his release from the Correctional Centre.

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TNL recalls that the former Abia State governor was in jail for about six months after he was convicted and sentenced for money laundering to the tune of N7.1 billion by Lagos federal high court.

Senator Kalu, who stood trial alongside Ude Udeogu, a former director of finance and account in Abia, was sentenced by Justice Mohammed Idris, who as of then had been elevated to the court of appeal bench, in a legal tussle that started in 2007.

But, on May 8 this year, the supreme court, in a unanimous decision by a seven-member panel led by Justice Amina Augie, held that the Lagos Federal High Court lacked jurisdiction when it convicted Mr Kalu, his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited, and Mr Udeogu.

However, the apex court verdict did not include releasing Mr Kalu from prison. His counsels, therefore, filed a suit before the Lagos federal high court for Mr Kalu’s release.

In a judgment read by Justice Mohammed Liman at the Lagos court, the correctional centre was ordered to release Mr Kalu from its Kuje facility in Abuja last Tuesday. The centre obeyed the next day.

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