Politician and businessman, Senator Orji Uzoh Kalu, representing Abia North is probably born under the lucky star. Series of events unfolding around him lately shows that he is indeed a child of uncommon grace.
For close to 12 years, he had been arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission alongside his company, Slok Nigeria Limited and Udeh Udeogu, his Director of Finance and Accounts at the Abia State Government House, over an amended 39-count charge bordering on conspiring and diverting the sum of N7.65bn from the coffers of the state when he was Governor from 1999-2007.
After years of tussle with legal proceedings, Justice Muhammed Idris, on December 5, 2019, pronounced 12-year imprisonment on him and also ordered that Kalu’s company, Slok Nigeria Limited, be wound up and all assets forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The former Abia Governor through his counsel approached the Appeal Court and later Supreme Court to set aside the judgment of the lower court.
While he awaited his fate in the apex court, many of his critics had written him off on regaining his freedom. The worst happened when he turned age 60, not much was said about the Senate Chief Whip.
No birthday soiree occurred in his honour. Back in his constituency, some even petitioned the Senate President to declare his seat vacant to allow a re-run election for a new occupant.
At this point, Kalu knew he was alone to himself. With his self-belief, he kept on pressing through his lawyer to regain freedom and shame his detractors.
After fervent prayer and fasting from his supporters, family, and friends, providence smiled on him. He was able to secure his freedom with ‘legal technicality’ and the apex court, on May 8, 2020, voided his earlier 12-years conviction and ordered his release from the correctional facility.
This, however, didn’t go accordingly as there were hitches until June 2, when Justice M. Liman, gave a judgment that ordered his release from Kuje correctional facility.
As he left the correctional facility, the feeling of excitement enveloped the Slok airline boss, who sauntered out majestically fitted in an all-white native, flanked by his daughter and confidant Neya, who ushered him to his vehicle to return home to their Aso-Villa home in Abuja.
If Senator Kalu was not a determined fighter, with the mindset of a victor, by now he would have been washed away by the tsunami directed at him.
Source: The Nation