SENATE chief whip and former Abia State governor Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has applied for post-conviction bail claiming that he is battling serious health challenges that the medical facilities in the prison cannot handle.
On December 5, Senator Kalu was sentenced to 12 years in prison after being found guilty of N7.1bn fraud during his tenure as governor. Senator Kalu, who has since been taken to the prison said filed his application today, claiming that since the offences he was convicted for were bailable the court should free him.
Senator Kalu is appealing his conviction by Justice Mohammed Idris at the Court of Appeal and in the interim is asking for bail while his appeal is being heard. In his appeal, he also stressed that as the chief whip of the senate and the senator representing Abia North Senatorial District the interest of his constituents would be in jeopardy if he was kept behind bars.
However, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) opposed the post-conviction bail application and the court will have to rule on the matter. Justice Mohammed Idris of the federal high court Abuja convicted Senator Kalu on 39 counts of fraud and money laundering preferred against him by the EFCC.
In spite of the sentencing, Senator Kalu will still be getting paid despite not performing any legislative function from prison. His tenure does not end until 2019, so unless he is formally recalled, he will continue to get paid until then.