Former Abia State Governor Orji Uzo Kalu has challenged the planned transfer of the corruption suit against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He also accused the anti-graft agency of plotting to convict him at all cost.
Kalu, in an October 15 letter through his counsel, Amobi Nzelu, addressed to the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, said the commission without his knowledge or his counsel requested for the transfer of the case to Lagos.
He said: “There is no justification legally, morally or otherwise for the said transfer if not to secure conviction at all cost and put him into avoidable expenses of moving his defence team to Lagos whenever the case comes up.
“It is also worthy to note that before the said transfer, politicians in Abia State and its environs had predicted at various fora that this matter will be transferred to Lagos where conviction will be secured at all cost.”
The case had resumed before the Justice Anuli Chikere of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court where plea had been taken at the last adjourned date and definite hearing fixed for December 6, 7 and 8.
The letter reads: “Our clients alongside others were arraigned before a Federal High Court, Abuja in 2007. Following rulings which did not go down well with our client, he appealed alongside others up to the Supreme Court via Court of Appeal. The matter was remitted back to the Federal High Court in 2016 by the Supreme Court for trial. The matter was assigned by the Hon. Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to Hon. Justice Anuli Chikere. At the last adjourned date, plea was taken and matter adjourned to the 6, 7 and 8 of December 2016 of definite hearing.
“Both parties departed the court with a view to come back and commence trial on the agreed dates. Surprisingly and behind the back of our client and his defence team, your Commission applied to the Hon. Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for the case to be transferred to Lagos Judicial Division of the Federal High Court.
“It is evidently clear that your Commission went into deep slumber and suddenly woke up to shop for forum convenience. What must have justified this sudden transfer is not far-fetched. Your commission went for a shopping bonanza and arrived at the residence of ‘forum convenience’, hence this request for the transfer to Lagos.”
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