Without recourse to exaggeration, politician and businessman, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, is fast proving to his detractors that he is indeed a cat with nine lives.
The more they try to bury him, the more he sprouts like a seed in a well fertile land.
The billionaire, who sits atop many businesses across the country in the past, has faced many challenges that would ordinarily consume a lily-livered. But the Senator representing Abia North Senatorial District has proved beyond any reasonable doubt that he is indeed a warrior and a master of the game.
Even though he is a lone fighter, many of his enemies are never his match
So, It was a denouement of sorts to the seemingly unending drama involving the former governor of Abia State, when a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on June 2, 2020, ordered that he be released from the Nigerian Correctional Service, Kuje , Abuja.
Prior to that momentous moment in the life of the member of the National Assembly, he had been arraigned alongside his company, Slok Nigeria Limited and Udeh Udeogu, his Director of Finance and Accounts at the Abia State Government House, over an amended 39-count charge bordering on conspiring and diverting the sum of N7.65bn from the coffers of the state.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charges, thereby leading to his trial, which suffered a lot of twists and turns for 12 years.
In the end, the trial Judge, Justice Muhammed Idris, on December 5, 2019, slammed a 12-year imprisonment on him and also ordered that Kalu’s company, Slok Nigeria Limited, be wound up and all assets forfeited to the Federal Government.
Following the order, the EFCC had, on Saturday, December 14, 2019, marked the properties belonging to Kalu to ensure that they were not dissipated, following the December 5, 2019 order of Justice Muhammed.
Meanwhile, dissatisfied with the judgment, Kalu, through his counsel, had first approached the Appeal Court and later the Supreme Court to set aside the judgment of the lower court.
While he awaited his fate in the apex court, many of his critics had foreclosed the possibility of victory for him.
Indeed, the rain of cynicisms from several quarters had poured on him almost ceaselessly.
But in the face of all, it was obvious that he put his absolute trust in God, believing that that he would soon be left off the hook to go back to the National Assembly to give quality representation to his constituents.
For him, it was a prayer answered when the apex court , on May 8, 2020, voided his conviction on the grounds that the trial Judge who had been elevated to the Appeal Court could not return to the High Court to give a judgment in the case.
In his reaction, the prosecution had described the judgment of the apex court as “technical ambush”.
Though he must have felt greatly relieved that God had intervened in his matter, he was still being held in the correctional service.
Typical of a fighter, his legal team again filed a motion at the Federal High Court in Lagos seeking his release from the Kuje correctional service.
Ruling on the matter, Justice M. Liman, last Tuesday, ordered the Nigerian Correctional Service to immediately release him.
Once again, he has proved that he holds the ace and is having the last laugh.
Sources close to Kalu, also a publisher and philanthropist of note, hinted that since his eventual release, his spirits had been buoyed, and is ready to go back to the business of bettering the lives of his constituents at the National Assembly.
– Thisday Newspaper