Former governor of Abia State and APC chieftain, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu could be on his way to jail for jumping bail in his N7.65BN fraud case, going by the words of Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court, Lagos.
The judge was angry that Kalu once again refused to appear in court for the continuation of the case after he was granted bail on July 31, when he begged for a six-week adjournment on the claim that he had a surgery appointment in Germany.
However, on the resumption of the case on Monday, September 10, Orji was not in court prompting Justice Idris to threaten to send him to jail for jumping bail.
The learned man who was very angry with the ex-governor and his defence team exploded in court at the resumed hearing:
“The letter for the adjournment of the 31st of July, 2018, was written on the 27th day of July, 2018, and forwarded to this court on the 31st day of July, 2018.
From the email correspondence of 31st July 2018 sent at 11.29am GMT by one Ifunanya, it appears that the said German surgeon was not even available for an appointment with the 1st defendant, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, when the letter of 27th July 2018, was written and when the application for an adjournment was made on the 31st day of July 2018.
It appears from the said email that as at the 31st day of July, an appointment had not yet been made.
I agree with the learned counsel for the prosecution that there is indeed no letter from the said German surgeon that the 1st defendant, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, would require any surgery whatsoever. The entire scenario appears to be ridiculous.
The conduct of the 1st defendant, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, in the matter since the ruling of this court on the 31st day of July 2018, wherein the court dismissed his no-case submission is highly irresponsible.
A litigant who deliberately or carelessly disregards an order of court cannot expect the discretion of the court to be exercised in his favour. Justice, after all, is said and done, is for all the parties.
No one, no matter how highly placed, can be above the law. Let it be said loud and clear that this court will apply the law with the full force it requires,” Justice Idris said.
Kalu’s lawyer, Gordy Uche (SAN), had earlier pleaded with the court on the absence of his client, lamenting that his team seemed to have ‘a little problem with the 1st defendant.’
Uche, who appealed for adjournment, said:
“The medical appointment was slated for the 2nd of August, but he couldn’t get a flight to Germany. Unfortunately, the surgeon went on summer vacation, however, the appointment is slated for today (Monday).”
Reacting to the defence lawyer’s claims, the prosecuting counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), contended that the former governor had no justification to be absent from the court.
“He (Kalu) cannot, on his own, extend the medical permission given to him by this court; a person going about everywhere obtaining chieftaincy titles, doing politics in the country; this surgical appointment is contrary to the order of this court. Having jumped bail, I apply that his bail be revoked.”
The judge, however, adjourned the case till September 20 and 21, 2018, stressing that Kalu must make himself available or be prepared to go to jail.