The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Saturday marked properties belonging to a former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu.
The agency said this was to ensure that the properties were not dissipated, following the December 5, 2019, order of Justice Muhammed Idris sitting at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, which directed that Kalu’s company, Slok Nigeria Ltd. should be wound up and all its assets forfeited to the Federal Government.
The EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed in a statement in Abuja on Saturday, that the properties marked by the commission include the Sun newspaper and Slok Nigeria Ltd.
Kalu, who is the Senator representing Abia North in the National Assembly, had been arraigned alongside Slok Nigeria Ltd. and Udeh Udeogu, his Director of Finance and Accounts at the Abia State Government House, over an amended 39-count bordering on conspiring and diverting the sum of N7.65 billion from the coffers of the state.
The ex-governor was subsequently convicted and sentenced to 12 years in jail.
In the course of the trial, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), called 19 witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence by the court.
The defendants, however, testified on behalf of themselves during the trial and adopted their final written addresses.
In his final submission, the prosecution counsel urged the judge to jail the defendants, saying the prosecution had proved the allegations against them.
Jacobs also urged the court to wind up the company and forfeit its assets to the Federal Government as provided by the law.
Justice Idris found the defendants guilty on all counts and held that the prosecution had established its case against them.
He convicted and sentenced the first defendant, Kalu to five years imprisonment on counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11; three years on counts 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33; 12 years on counts 34, 35, 36, 37 and 38 and five years on count 39.
The second defendant was convicted and sentenced to three years imprisonment on counts 24, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32 and 10 years on counts 34, 37, 38 and 39.
Idris further held that “in respect of the third convict, Slok Nigeria Ltd., an order is hereby made that the company shall hereupon and without further assurances, but for this order, be wound up and all its assets and properties forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”