A former governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, has filed a no-case submission in his trial at the Federal High Court in Lagos, for an alleged N3.2 billion fraud and money laundering case.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had in October 2016 filed a 34-count against the former governor and a former Commissioner for Finance in Abia, Udeh Udeogo.
A Company, Slok Nig. Ltd, said to be owned by Kalu, was also joined as a defendant to the charges.
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The defendants had, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail.
At the last adjourned date on May 11, the EFCC closed its case against the defendants and the presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, adjourned till May 30 for the defendants to open their defence.
At the resumed trial of the case on Wednesday, the prosecuting counsel informed the court that the anti-graft agency had been served with the no-case submissions filed by each of the defendants.
He also told the court that the prosecution has filed an amended charge against the defendants.
In his response, counsel to the former governor, Awa Kalu, confirmed that he filed a no case submission on his client’s behalf.
“A motion for no case submission was filed on behalf of the first defendant (Dr Kalu) on May 28 and it has been served on the prosecution,” he told the court.
Other defence counsel, Solo Akuma and Kevin Nwofo, informed the judge that they had also filed separate motions of no-case submission for their clients.
The defence team, however, said they were yet to be served with the EFCC’s amended charge.
Akuma specifically drew the court’s attention to the provisions of sections 216 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, which he argued does not allow the prosecution to amend a charge without leave or permission of the court.
The defence team also refused to accept service of the amended charge in court on the ground that it ought to be served personally on the defendant and not on his counsel.