The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Tuesday ordered the release of a former governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, from prison.
Kalu was jailed for 12 years last December following his conviction of N7.1 billion fraud.
His firm, Slok Nigeria Limited, was also implicated alongside a former Director of Finance at the Abia State Government House, Jones Udeogu.
Kalu sought an order of the court for his release after the May 8, 2020 judgement of the Supreme Court which nullified his trial and conviction and that of others on the grounds that the judge who handled the case lacked jurisdiction.
The apex court’s judgment followed an appeal by Udeogu, contending that the trial judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, concluded the 12-year-old trial and gave judgment after he had been elevated to the Court of Appeal and ceased to be a judge of the Federal High Court.
Kalu’s counsel, Lateef Fagbemi, on Tuesday, urged Justice Mohammed Liman to order the release of the ex-governor from prison, saying it is a “fallout of the Supreme Court decision delivered on the 8th of May”.
Prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, urged the court to set a date for re-trial as ordered by the Supreme Court.
“We want the trial to go on, losing more time will be dangerous for us,” Mr Jacobs said. QED