The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday re-arraigned the former Governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, at the Federal High Court, Lagos over an alleged N2.7billion fraud.
Kalu was re-arraigned before Justice Mohammed Idris, alongside his firm and others on a 34-count charge bordering on money laundering.
The two other defendants were Udeh Udeogu and Slok Nigeria Limited.
The re-arraignment of the accused followed the transfer of their case from the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court to the Lagos division.
Kalu had protested against the attempt to transfer the case to Lagos but his appeal was not heeded.
The accused had earlier been arraigned on September 27, 2016 before Justice Anwuri Chikere of the Abuja division of the court.
But the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta transferred the case to Lagos, leading to the re-arraignment of the accused yesterday.
The EFCC, in the charges, alleged that while he was governor, Kalu siphoned funds running into over N2.7bn from the state’s treasury.
According to the EFCC, the accused diverted the money into the account of Slok Nigeria Limited, a company owned by Kalu and his family.
He was said to have allegedly diverted the funds in tranches of N200million, N50million, N200million N300.8million, N545million, N429million, N288.4million, N190m, N157m, N152.8m, N100m, N84million and N50million between August 13, 2003 and January 12, 2005.
The offence is said to be contrary to Section 17 (c) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2003 and punishable under Section 16 of the same Act.