By Onozure Dania
Lagos—The trial of former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu was yesterday stalled due to the failure of the prosecution to serve the statement of one of its witnesses on the defence.
Kalu and two others are standing trial over alleged fraud before Justice Mohammed Idris of a Federal High Court in Lagos.
At the resumed hearing of the case yesterday, the court directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, to call its first witness in the case.
The witness, Onovah Ovenevoh, was about giving his testimony when the lawyer to the second and third defendants, Chief Solomon Akuma SAN, drew the court’s attention to the fact that his statement was not part of the proof of evidence given to him by the prosecution.
Orji Uzor Kalu
He said service of witness statement on the defence is a constitutional right and a facility that should be provided for an accused person as enshrined in Section 36(6)(b) of the Constitution.
Counsel, to Kalu, Chief Mike Ozhekome SAN , also said that it is very important for the prosecution to make the statement of the witness available not only to the defence but also to the court.
However, in his objections, EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs SAN urged the court to reject the submissions of the two defence lawyers.
However Justice Idris fixed ruling on the matter for today.
Dr. Kalu, Udeh Jones Udeogu and Slok Nigeria Limited were on October 31 arraigned before the court by the anti-graft agency on a 34-count charge of alleged N3.2 billion fraud.