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BREAKING: Kalu wins as court dismisses FG’s appeals to reopen money laundering trial

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has dismissed appeals by the Federal Government against an order of the Federal High Court prohibiting it from reopening the trial of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu and his firm, Slok Nigeria Ltd over money laundering charges.

The appeals were against the September 29, 2021 judgment by Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja prohibiting the Fed Govt from further prosecuting Kalu and Slok following an earlier judgment of the Supreme Court voiding the proceedings leading to their earlier trial and conviction.

In two separate judgments on Wednesday, March 6, a three-member panel of the court held that the two appeals filed by the Federal Government were incompetent.

Justice Joseph Oyewole, who authored and read the lead judgments in both appeals, upheld the objection raised by the former Avis State governor and Slok.

The court found that the records of appeal in both cases were not properly compiled and certified as required under Court of Appeal’s Rules and Section 104 of the Evidence Act.

It held that even if the breach of the court’s rule was to be overlooked, the court cannot close its eyes to the non-compliance with the mandatory provision of the Evidence Act.

The court noted that the official of the trial court, who certified the records did not indicate his/her designation as required by the Evidence Act.

Counsel to the Federal Government, Oluwaleke Atolagbe said, with the court’s decision, the appellant will refile new appeals to enable the appellate court deal with the substance of the case.

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