NEWS DIGEST–A federal high court in Lagos has revoked the bail granted Orji Uzor Kalu, ex-Abia state governor, for failure to appear before it.
Kalu is facing trial for an alleged fraud of N7.65bn. His trial was stalled last week due to his absence in court. Kunle Oyewunmi, his media aide, had said Kalu was absent because he was flown to Germany for an undisclosed ailment. But Mohammed Idris, the judge, said due process was not followed before Kalu travelled.
He gave the former governor a 7-day ultimatum to appear in court but Kalu was not in court on Monday. Idris, in his ruling, revoked his bail and ordered him to submit himself to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) within 24 hours of his return to the country from Germany.
The judge ordered the EFCC to arrest and detain the ex-governor if he fails to yield himself to the anti-graft agency.
“In the circumstances, I’m constrained to revoke the bail granted to the first defendant,” the judge ruled.
“The first defendant is permitted to continue his medical treatment abroad unharrassed by security agencies.
“Upon the first defendant’s return into the country, he shall, at the point of entry, surrender his passport and other relevant travel documents to the EFCC.
“He shall also surrender himself to the EFCC within 24 hours of his return, failing which he shall be arrested and detained by the EFCC.
“Let me state that there is no doubt that the first defendant is entitled to and has a right to life; he has a right to seek medical treatment within and outside the shores of Nigeria; this right is further guaranteed by the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“In enjoying these rights, the first defendant has a duty to follow due process of the law. In this case, the first defendant acted outside the purview of the law and he is expected to be dealt with in accordance with the law.
“This is a court of law and a court of justice in accordance with the law. This court is also a court of equity, but he who seeks equity must do equity. It is said that like fire spits fire, so is equity.
“When you seek equity, you must do equity.”