The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has given reasons why convicted Senator and former Governor of Abia, Orji Kalu, cannot be granted bail.
Kalu on Tuesday prayed a Federal High Court in Lagos to grant him bail from the Ikoyi Custodial Centre pending the determination of an appeal against his conviction.
Justice Mohammed Idris had convicted Kalu and sentenced him to a concurrent jail term of 12 years for N7.2 billion fraud.
The EFCC prosecuted Kalu together with a former Commissioner for Finance in Abia, Jones Udeogo, and Kalu’s company, Slok Nig. Ltd.
They were charged on an amended 39 counts of fraud.
The trial, which started in 2007, recorded some set backs but eventually ended in October 2019 when parties in the suit adopted written submissions.
On December 5, the judge found all the three defendants guilty.
He found Kalu and Slok Nig. Ltd. guilty of all the 39 counts of the charge, and convicted Udeogo on 34 counts.
Idris sentenced Udeogo to a concurrent 10 years’ jail term and ordered that Slok Nig. Ltd be wound up and all its assets forfeited to the Federal Government.
On Tuesday, Kalu’s counsel, Mr Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) informed the court of a bail application he filed on behalf of the former governor, seeking to be released on bail pending the outcome of his appeal against the judgement.
However, EFCC counsel, Mr RotimI Jacobs (SAN), opposed the bail application.
“Although bail is generally a right of an accused as guaranteed by the Constitution, it is not a right available to a convict because the presumption of innocence had crystallised into guilt and conviction,” he said.