Non-issuance of fiat stalls Orji Kalu’s N3.2bn fraud case

Further hearing in the trial of a former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu and two others over alleged N3.2 billion fraud on Wednesday before a Federal High Court, Lagos, was stalled due to non-issuance of fresh ‘fiat’ to the trial judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, by the President of Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa.

Kalu is standing trial alongside his former Commissioner for Finance,  Udeh Jones Udeogu, and a firm, Slok Nigeria Limited.

Addressing parties in the matter Justice Idris said he cannot continue with the hearing of the case because he is yet to be issued any fiat do so by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa.

“This matter was listed today because it was adjourned till today for defence. What has happened is that the last fiat that was issued by the President of the Court of Appeal has expired at the end of November 2018.

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“On the 10th of January, 2019, I received fresh fiat in respect of some matters that I have started and some new matters but this particular case was not mentioned. For this reason, I have a strong feeling that I shouldn’t continue with proceedings in this case unless there is a further directive from the President of the Court of Appeal.

“I should not proceed further, otherwise I might be acting without authority. In the circumstance, I am of the view that further proceedings shouldn’t go on until I receive further information by way of fresh fiat from the Court of Appeal President. As soon as I receive further instruction, hearing notice will be sent to counsel,” the judge said.

Justice Idris was elevated to the Court of Appeal on 13th June 2018 and has been sitting on cases at the Federal High Court in Lagos each time fiat was issued to him by the President of the Court of Appeal.

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