Kalu was charged alongside his company, Slok Nigeria Ltd., and his former Commissioner for Finance, Jones Ude, on 34 counts bordering on money laundering.
The accused however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.After the plea, counsel to the accused, Mr Mike Ozekhome (SAN), urged the trial judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, to allow the accused to continue with an earlier bail condition.
The prosecutor, Mr Adeniyi Adebisi, did not oppose the submission of defence counsel but rather added that the EFCC was only interested in the justice of the case which included the trial of the accused persons.
Justice Idris consequently, adjourned the case to Dec. 12 and 13 for trial and ordered that the accused continue with the subsisting bail terms
Mr. Orji Uzor Kalu had been accused of diverting about 3.2 billion Naira from the Abia government’s treasury, between August 2001 and October 2005.
Kalu was alleged to have utilised his company to retain in the account of a First Inland Bank, now FCMB, the sum of N200 million.
In counts one to 10, the accused were alleged to have retained about N2.5 billion in different accounts which funds were said to belong to the Abia State Government.
Cumulatively in all the counts, the accused were alleged to have diverted over N3.2 billion from the Abia State Government’s treasury during Kalu’s tenure as governor.
In March, the Supreme Court had ruled that the EFCC could prosecute the former Abia Governor, ruling that the anti-graft agency had established prime-facie cases against the defendant.
His offence is said to have contravened the provisions of sections 15(6), 16, and 21 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2005.