Senator Orji Kalu, who was jailed for allegedly stealing public funds, has been released from custody, reports PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr Kalu, a former Abia State governor, was freed from the Nigerian correctional facility in Kuje, Abuja, on Friday morning, two sources familiar with the development said.
He has now moved to his residence off Queen Amina Street within the perimeter of Aso Rock Presidential Villa, sources said. The sources spoke under anonymity because they were close to Mr Orji and did not get immediate permission from him to disclose his release to the press.
Mr Kalu’s release came moments after the Supreme Court voided his conviction in December 2019 in a multi-billion naira corruption trial.
Mr Kalu had been accused of pilfering and mismanaging funds belonging to Abia State during his days as governor between 1999 and 2007. He pleaded not guilty and appealed his conviction by the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court.
On Friday morning, the Supreme Court deemed Mr Kalu’s conviction inappropriate and ordered a retrial of the case, according to multiple media reports out of the court.
A seven-member panel of the apex court, in a unanimous verdict delivered by Justice Ejembi Eko, declared that the conviction null and void, Channels TV reported Friday.
According to the report, Justice Eko declared that Justice Mohammed Idris, who convicted Mr Kalu, was already a justice of the Court of Appeal, when he ruled and sentenced Mr Kalu and his co-defendant.
We’re Considering Options for Reopening of Schools – LASG
The Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, has said the state is considering different options in its bid to reopen schools.
Adefisayo, at the annual ministerial press briefing of the state Ministry of Education on Tuesday, said although the Federal Government would decide when schools would open, the state was putting measures in place to protect pupils.
She said, “Recall that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday said schools remain closed. I can’t give you a date when schools will resume in Lagos, but we are working with development partners and ministries of education across the country to come up with a series of protocols on how we will be able to manage when we open schools. So, we are working behind the scene; we have a paper on the protocols and we will start to share as the paper is finally approved in a few days’ time.
“There must be protocols that will address schools with large gatherings. There are many things we are thinking of; we are thinking about pupils not coming to school every day so that we will be able to spread the children across the whole school. Pupils don’t have to be in their class to learn; they can learn in a room with tables and chairs.”
Adefisayo added that a total of 3,000 primary and secondary schoolteachers were recently absorbed into the teaching work force to boost the capacity of the existing work force and provide quality education.
Bauchi Deputy Governor Tests Positive for COVID-19
Bauchi State Deputy Governor, Baba Tela, has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.
The Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Bauchi State governor, Muhktar Gidado, stated this in a media statement made available to journalists in Bauchi on Wednesday.
He said the confirmation was sequel to a test carried out on him by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control when he exhibited noticeable symptoms of the disease.
Gidado said the deputy governor, who is also the Chairman of the Bauchi State Task Force on COVID-19 and Lassa Fever, had since gone into self-isolation.
He said, “This is to inform the general public that His Excellency, Sen. Baba Tela, Deputy Governor of Bauchi State who is also the Chairman, State Task Force on COVID-19 was confirmed positive for coronavirus.
“He contracted the disease while discharging his onerous responsibility as Chairman of the Committee.
“Consequently, His Excellency, Baba Tela has gone into self-isolation in Bauchi and health professionals are properly managing his situation.”
The governor’s media aide said the samples of all his primary contacts have been taken by the NCDC for testing and are advised to remain in isolation pending the outcome of their results.
He said the Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, has solicited prayers for his deputy and other COVID-19 patients speedy recovery.
“The governor also calls on the citizens to adhere strictly to the protocols against the dreaded virus to curtail its spread in the state,” he said.
COSON Confirms Majek Fashek’s Death, Flies Flag at Half Mast
All flags at COSON House in Ikeja, the headquarters of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), are now flying at half mast in celebration of the life of Nigeria’s iconic reggae singer and frontline member of COSON, Majek Fashek, who passed on in New York on June 1.
A condolence register has also been opened at the reception of COSON House for all those who want to pay tribute to the memory of this unique Nigerian artiste to do so. Also, videos of the remarkable performances of Majek Fashek are playing on the various video screens at COSON House.
Speaking on the passing of the reggae legend, COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji said, “In various ways, we will celebrate the life of this incredibly talented Nigerian. I hope that before the day is over, I will speak with Randy, his son who lives in New York. We have to deal with the time difference between Lagos and New York and we will make the necessary announcements.
“Everyone knows that Majek Fashek was not just my colleague. He was my friend. He stood by my side and supported me from head to toe over many years. We have shared many memorable moments together. His passing on tears at my heart but I am consoled by the fact that there is no need to immortalize Majek Fashek. He has immortalized himself through his unforgettable songs and lyrics. We will celebrate Majek Fashek to inspire the young people in the creative family”
“There is almost nothing that COSON has done that Majek Fashek did not fully participate in. He was 100% dedicated to the COSON cause. Majek was not just a COSON member by name. He was a COSON member in his heart and indeed. All COSON members across Nigeria and all of our staff at COSON House which he visited regularly, will greatly miss this Nigerian of incomparable talent, the great “rain maker”. Since yesterday, it has been raining across the nation. It has to as the great Rainmaker transits. It is said that Rastas never die. I take it that my brother, friend and colleague, the iconic Majek Fashek has not died, He has travelled and one day, we will join and make music together.”