A seven Man Panel of the apex in Nigeria, The Supreme Court has nullified the judgment which convicted the former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu.
The seven-man panel of the apex court also set aside the judgment which convicted Ude Udeogu, a former Director of Finance and Account at the Abia State Government House.
The judgement from the apex court came today Friday, about five months after both men were convicted of corruption allegations levelled against them by the Federal Government.
Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos had sentenced Senator Kalu to 12 years imprisonment in his judgement delivered in December 2019.
He had also sentenced Mr Udeogu to 10 years imprisonment on the same day.
The apex court, in a unanimous verdict on the appeal delivered by Justice Ejembi Eko, declared that the conviction of the appellants was null and void.
Justice Eko explained that the declaration was on the ground that Justice Mohammed Idris was already a Justice of the Court of Appeal, as at the time he delivered the judgment sentencing the appellants.
He held that a Justice of the Court of Appeal cannot operate as a judge of the Federal High Court.
The apex court, therefore, ordered the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to reassign the case for trial.
Meanwhile, as the news of the release of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu filtered into Igbere community in Bende Local Government Area of Abia State, the community women, youths and children matched through the street of the town in celebration.