The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday, told a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos that its star witness in the trial of former Abia State Governor, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, was evading appearance. EFCC operatives Kalu, Udeh Jones Udeogu and Slok Nigeria Limited were arraigned October 31, 2016 by the EFCC before Justice Mohammed Idris on a 34-count charge of N3.2 billion fraud. They pleaded not guilty.
At the commencement of proceedings, yesterday, EFCC counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacob informed the court that the matter was for continuation of trial but that he could not proceed because he could not find his star witness.
Jacob said: “Our main witness that we intended to call, we have approached him for more than six months. We have noticed that each time the matter is coming up, he will just travel to Umuahia or Calabar or Cameroun. “He always has the dates of the matter and I was forced to apply for a subpoena. Your Lordship signed one, which we took to the Abia State Government because we found out that he was a civil servant. But he has since left the service. “He was supposed to come today (yesterday) but switched off his phone. EFCC went to his house in Umuahia yesterday (Monday) and this morning (yesterday) but met his wife who said he travelled to Calabar. Despite all our efforts, we have not been able to bring him.”
He prayed for a short adjournment of about a week to enable the agency round up its case. Kalu’s counsel, Mr Awa Kalu, SAN, accused the EFCC of a ploy to foist an adjournment on the court.