A former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has hailed the rejection of an application filed by the prosecuting counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, asking the court to revoke his (Kalu’s) bail.
Kalu, whose counsel, Mr. Goddy Uche, SAN, had earlier notified the court of his client’s inability to attend the court session via a letter from Helios Klinik, Wiesbaden, Germany and filed at the court, expressed satisfaction over the court’s rejection of the bail revocation and other consequential orders requested by Mr. Jacobs.
The prosecuting counsel to EFCC had during the last court sitting claimed that Kalu had absconded.
In a swift response, Kalu’s lawyer condemned in totality the use of derogatory words on his client, urging Mr. Jacobs to desist from blackmailing Kalu, adding that he (Jacobs) should not preempt the court.
The former governor in a statement from Germany on Thursday confirmed that his absence from the last court sitting was on health grounds and not to disrespect the law.
According to him, “As a respecter of the judiciary and by extension the rule of law, it is unfair and wicked for Mr. Rotimi Jacobs to have said that I absconded from facing trial.”
He said, “I was very disappointed when I heard the statement credited to Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN). It is on record that since the commencement of this case in 2007, this is the first time I have never been present from court except the last sitting, which was beyond me.
“I have had to reschedule my surgery many times so as to be present in court at all times. My surgery was originally scheduled for August 1 but due to my appearance in court on July 31, I could not meet up with my surgical appointment.
“All my efforts to get a new date in August proved abortive as my doctor was on his annual family vacation and the earliest date granted was September 10.
“To catch up with the new appointment, I left Nigeria on August 31 to visit and inform my mother in the US about the surgery before departing for Germany.
“On September, ahead of my operation booked for 2.15pm, as I entered the hospital at 10.00am for preparations before moving into the theatre room, about mid-day, one of my aides Dr. Frank Osita-Chuks, rushed into the consulting room, where I was placed on drip, that my lawyer, Mr. Goddy Uche (SAN), asked me to call him on phone urgently.
“Following the approval of the nurse on duty, I immediately put a call through to my counsel, who informed me that I must be present in the next court sitting slated for September 20 and 21.
“After the telephone conversation with my lawyer, I was unhappy when he told me about what transpired in the court.
“Thereafter, I had to ask for my doctor’s advice, who did not hide his displeasure over incessant cancellations of the long overdue surgery, who bluntly told me that once the operation is conducted, healing will not take less than 5 weeks and as such if I want to make the next court sitting, I had better, again, reschedule the surgical operation for September 24, based on his schedule.