Stop insulting judges on my behalf – Orji Kalu warns supporters
Former Abia State Governor, Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu has warned his supporters against insulting judges over his earlier conviction.
He made the appeal in a Monday statement signed by his Special Assistant, Emeka Nwala.
Kalu, the Senate Chief Whip, said any group or person attacking judges does not have his support as he is a staunch believer in the judiciary.
The Herald recalls that Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos convicted Kalu, his company, Slok Nigeria Limited and former Director of Finance at the Abia State Government House, Mr. Jones Udeogu in December 2019 over corruption charges to the tune of N7.1 billion.
While the ex-governor bagged a 12-year prison term, Udeogu was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
However, Udeogu challenged the court judgement at the Supreme Court.
A seven-man panel of Supreme Court Justices overturned the conviction and sentence and ordered fresh trial on Friday.
Justice Egemba Eko, who read the lead judgement, held that Justice Idris had no competence to handle the case, having been promoted to the Court of Appeal. Justice Idris presiding over the Federal High Court in Lagos had continued Kalu’s case despite being elevated to the Court of Appeal.
But in his statement, the ex-governor said it was not a justification for anyone to attack a judge or court official on his behalf.
The statement read, “Senator (Dr.) Orji Uzor Kalu has become aware that some people have taken to the media to criticise some judges or members of the judiciary in relation to his case. He is deeply disturbed by such development.
“Senator Kalu has not authorised any statement or comment on his case, his appeal or last week’s judgment of the Supreme Court. Also, he has not directed anyone to issue any statements on his behalf in connection to the case.
“While he has no control over the reactions of the public, the Senator felt compelled to call on his supporters and well-wishers for restraint and caution. Judges do not go to the media to justify their judicial actions and people should not go to the media to criticise judges for things done or not done in their official capacities. He therefore urges his supporters to cease and desist from any adverse media commentary against any judge on account of his case, or any other case for that matter.”