The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ebonyi has applauded the Supreme Court for upturning lower court judgment that sentenced Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu to 12 years in prison on corruption allegation.
Chief Eze Nwachukwu, the state APC Chairman, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Abakaliki that the judgment delivered by the apex court was a victory for democracy and supremacy of the rule of law. He said that Ebonyi APC received the news with great joy and jubilation, adding that justice has been served following the acquittal.
He said: “We applaud the nation’s judiciary and the apex court which saw it necessary that justice was strangled along the line.
“That the judicial procedure that would have given a credible judgment was not followed, thereby setting aside the judgment and ordering for retrial.
“We say it is a welcome development because the earlier judgment brought the transparency of the judiciary to question, we commend the Supreme Court for doing the needful.
“Yes, he has spent months in incarceration but we believe as Christians that God may have used those periods to keep him away from unknown evil and no matter the pains he may have gone, the joy of his freedom will wash them away.
“The prison experience has also given him the opportunity like he said, to know who is who to him, his political and economic lives,” he said.
Nwachukwu described the embattled Abia-born politician and businessman as one of the foremost Igbo leaders that devoted his entire life, carrier and wealth to humanity.
The party expressed confidence that Kalu, whom it described as a ‘beacon’ of political hope for the South-East, would be vindicated at the end of his retrial.
Also, Dr Paul Okorie, a chieftain of APC and former commissioner for environment, commended the apex court for vacating the judgment of the lower court, saying that the pronouncement was an affirmation of supremacy of the nation’s constitution.
“Sen. Kalu took his conviction to the Supreme Court on the ground that the Constitution of Nigeria was breached at the lower court in the course of his conviction.
“The Supreme Court Judges upheld his position; this is another proof of supremacy of the constitution of our land.
“Hence, in whatever we do, we must bear it in mind that our constitution is supreme in all situations,” Okorie said.
Another chieftain of the party, Chief Abia Onyike in his reaction described the judgment as a positive welcome development for Kalu and Ndigbo.
Onyike, a former Ebonyi commissioner for information and orientation, said that the entire South-East and truth loving Nigerians wished him well as he resumes at the Senate.
“The ruling by the Supreme Court on Kalu is a positive development for himself and Ndigbo. We wish him well as he resumes at the Senate. He must have learnt some lessons from his ordeal.
“Igbo political leadership at this time requires self-assessment; we need an invigorated and vibrant political renaissance and Sen. Kalu should know that much is still expected from him,” he said.
Justice Muhammed Idris had on Dec. 5, 2019, convicted the former governor and Senate Chief Whip to 12 years in prison for allegedly stealing public fund.