Nigeria: Witness Reveals How Ex-Abia Gov, Kalu Moved N3.2bn To Foreign Account
Former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu
A prosecution witness, Chidi Chukwuka, Deputy Director, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, on Thursday, May 10, 2018, told Justice Muhammed Idris of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos how a former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, moved funds from Nigeria to his foreign account.
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 over N3.2bn.
Under cross-examination by the defence counsel, Awa Kalu, SAN, Chukwuka told the court that exhibit G, which was the petition written by the Abia Forum and signed by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, a former Abia State deputy governor, formed part of the charges against Kalu and two others.
When asked if the EFCC invited Kalu in respect of the Abia Forum’s petition, the witness said “no because he was covered by immunity as the executive governor of Abia State.
“The principal officers invited by the EFCC are: Accountant- General; Commissioner of Finance; Chief of Staff to the Abia Government House; Director of Finance to the Abia Government House; R.K. Madu; a staff of Abia Government House; Michael Udo, a cashier to the Abia Government House; Chinedu Elechi and Chika Udom, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Government House, among others.”
Chukwuka also told the court that he showed the copy of the exhibit, which was the petition written by the Abia Forum, to the principal officers.
Also, when asked if he was aware that Kalu bought a family property in the United States of America in 1997, the witness told the court that the said property was not part of his investigations.
“I only investigated the property contained in exhibits W-W1,” h said.
While under further cross-examination, he told the court that investigation revealed an account from which Kalu made payment for the property, adding that “Kalu had a foreign account and funds were moved from Nigeria to the account.”
Chukwuka, who said the report of the investigation formed part of the charges against Kalu, added that “the basic information in this matter was obtained from the Accountant- General, the state’s bankers, vouchers, cheques and pay slips used during the administration of Kalu.”
Justice Idris adjourned the case to Friday, May 11, 2018 for continuation of trial.