Wednesday, July 25, 2007

EFCC freezes Kalu Uzor's assets

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EFCC freezes Kalu Uzor's assets

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday secured an order of the Federal High Court, Abuja, to freeze assets allegedly owned by the former governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu. He is currently on trial on a 107-count charge of corruption and abuse of office.
Notable among the assets temporarily forfeited to the EFCC is Sun Publishing Limited, publishers of Daily Sun, Saturday Sun and Sunday Sun.
Others are Slok Air Nigeria Ltd, which was grounded four years ago by the former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Firmbase Inter Ltd, Slok Marine Vessels, Reality Organisation Nig. Ltd, International Insurance Com-pany Ltd, Tanji Resort, Gambia, Banque International in Gambia and Sierra Leone and many companies allegedly registered in the name of his wife and children.
In all, a dozen companies and numerous local and foreign accounts were frozen in an order issued by Justice A. I. Chikere of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in Suit/ Abuja/M462/107.
EFCC had, pursuant to Section 34/1 of the EFCC Act of 2004, prayed the court for an order for freezing/forfeiture of accounts/assets of the former governor who was arrested two weeks ago on his arrival from a trip to the United States. He was subsequently charged to Federal High Court, Abuja on July 16 and remanded in Kuje Prisons custody on the orders of the court.
Yesterday�s order also asked the EFCC to take over various landed property scattered in some major cities in the country including Mai-duguri, Bama, both in Borno state, Port Harcourt, and Owerri, in Rivers and Imo State, purportedly owned by Kalu.
Kalu had appeared before Justice Binta Murtala Nyako after being charged by the EFCC for allegedly transferring billions of naira belonging to the Abia State government to Slok Airline over a period of eight years.
According to the charge, Kalu transferred money belonging to the Abia state government account in the defunct Manny Bank (now part of Fidelity Bank) to the Slok Airline account at Inland Bank.
The former Abia governor was also alleged to have at various times between 1999 and 2007 transferred huge sums of government money into Slok Investment, Slok Nigeria Limited, Slok Incorporated and other companies owned by him.
The former governor was charged alongside Emeka Uzor Kalu (now at large) and Eunice Agwu (also at large). In the 107-count charge, he was said to have conspired with the two others to divert a total N2.7 billion Abia state monies to finance his private business, Slok Nigeria Limited.
An EFCC official told THISDAY yesterday that the companies and accounts that were forfeited to the commission would still continue to operate unhindered as long as their managements �co-operate with the commission in the exercise of its oversight and supervisory function over them.�


Shanuwa said...

Yes o, God is really in control and w e thank Him for all His Mercies and those still to come

A. O. M said...

I have some questions. Why is EFCC so efficient about Kalu and moving at the speed of electricity? Four governors have been charged, I did not hear about what they seized from Turaki, even Dariye? Why are they less efficient with these cases? How did they get that court order for forfeiture so fast? In all my life I have never seen anything come out of court so fast? Did the process start before Kalu was arraingned and charged or how? It came like lightening. Why ex parte and reasoning that the man was already in prison custody? How is it possible to grant a temporary order of forfeiture for some one's properties without hearing their own side of the story, even if it is for only one hour? Something looks to be going terribly wrong here. No, even a criminal has the right to defend himslf. It is seriously wrong to deprieve any one of his property for one second base on the allegations of one side. That is the definition of partial and that order was not even secured by any form of compensation as damages for malicious allegations. What was the rush, assuming he got bail was he going to sell all his properties in one single day? I hope Kalu is starting to realize that some one is seriously gunning for him and that this thing might be serious trouble. If I were him, I will give up playing tennis in Kuje or it could become a permanent condition for him.

onyia said...

The man is a thief, as simple as that, and once a thief always will be. Let him face the music and tell us how he became so fabulously rich. The temporary seizure is to stop him from tampering with evidence and the course of justice, we all know what money can to in Nigeria where people are so hungry because people like Kalu rob their States blind. It is my State and I know how Kalu has wrecked it.