Kalu on appeal: I’m sick, I’m Senate Chief Whip, I need medical attention, to represent my people

Former governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, who is serving a 12-year imprisonment for N7.1bn fraud and money laundering, has returned to court with fresh prayers for his freedom, which includes pleading for freedom to take care of his health and being afforded the opportunity to go and represent his people.

Since the Senate said last week that there was no room to declare his seat vacant, meaning that the seat of the Abia North Senatorial zone, which Kalu represents would remain vacant for the next four years, if he spends the entire jail term in prison.

This has therefore formed part of his appeal to the court to grant him bail, during the period he would be pursuing his case at the Court of Appeal, apart from also pleading that he is a sick man and that the prison facilities would be inadequate to manage his medical condition.

Canvassing this at the Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos, Kalu, who was convicted by Justice Mohammad Idris on December 5, and currently serving his term at the Ikoyi Custodial Centre, Lagos, prayed the court to grant him bail, pending the hearing of his appeal.

Emphasizing that he is battling serious health challenges that the medical facilities in the prison could not handle, he said 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.

He argued that because the offences he was convicted of were bailable, the appellate court should free him while he challenges his conviction

But the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which secured his conviction, through its lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, opposed the post-conviction bail application.