The Northern Youth Council of Nigeria has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to revisit the fraud case of the former Abia State Governor, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
The northern group stated that the former governor used the “judicial technicality to evade serving his full sentence,” thereby adding that he cannot run for President in 2023 until he is cleared.
The group disclosed this in its reactions to the posters of Kalu that have flooded Abuja this week, showcasing him as a presidential aspirant in the 2023 elections.
The anti-graft agency, EFCC had appealed the Federal High Court judgment which prohibits the agency from retrying the former Governor and his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited in 2020.
The EFCC has asked the Court of Appeal in Abuja to set aside the September 29 judgement and order a fresh trial in an alleged N7.1 billion laundering charge against Kalu and his company.
The EFCC also wanted the Appeal Court to order Senator Kalu and his company to submit themselves for retrial, in line with the order of the Supreme Court in its May 8, 2020 judgement, voiding the earlier trial and conviction of Kalu and 2 others, and ordering a retrial.
The requests by the agency were contained in 2 notices of appeal filed by EFCC lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs, against the two judgements delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
In a similar manner, NYCN in a statement signed by its President and Director-General, Media and Publicity, Comrade Isah Abubakar and Comrade Mock Samuel Kure wants the Senator representing Abia North in Upper Chamber to be re-prosecuted.
A copy of the statement obtained by SaharaReporters on Thursday reiterated that the office of the President is not meant for Kalu and others like him who have looted public funds.
The statement read, “The attention of the Northern Youth Council of Nigeria has been drawn to massive online and offline Presidential campaigns for Senator Orji Uzo Kalu, the former Governor of Abia State. While it is within his fundamental human right to aspire for any office, we see his recent move as an attempt to completely rubbish what is left of Nigeria’s integrity before the world.
“Otherwise, how can someone who has been convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to a term of imprisonment for fraud; a sentence that was further upheld by both Appeal and the Supreme Courts and which he has started serving, have the courage to aspire for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria?
“It is on record that Sen Orji Kalu hid under judicial technicality to evade serving his full sentence. We wonder if he and his promoters can’t see that he is too dirty and tainted to stand for any office, including that of Prisoners Governor. What is still keeping Sen Kalu in our Hallowed Red Chamber is the inability of the EFCC to revisit his case and start prosecuting as recommended by the Court that technically ordered for his release. When such is done one million times, Sen Orji will be found guilty one million times. All courts in the land have found him guilty of stealing public funds. The presumption of innocence is no longer on his side.
“Therefore, we wish to call on the Chairman of the EFCC and the Chief Law Officer of our country, Abubakar Malami, SAN to tidy up the process of arraigning Sen Orji Uzoh Kalu so that he can go back to where he rightly belongs to in order to save Nigeria further embarrassment. When they fail to do so, the Council will be forced to seek Court Order to mandate them to do what is expected without.
“Lastly, we wish to counsel those who have stolen their states’ resources or have looted our national treasury to stay far away from the 2023 Presidential bid, as our Presidency will henceforth be occupied by people of honour, not Jail Birds.”