Ahmad Lawan, the President of the Nigerian Senate, on Thursday night, led other principal officers of the red chamber to welcome back one of their members, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, from the Nigerian Correctional Service in Kuje, Abuja.
Kalu, a former governor of Abia State, who is the current Chief Whip of the Senate and others, was in December last year, convicted and sentenced for N7.1bn fraud.
Justice Mohammed Idris, who was elevated to the Court of Appeal bench, had returned to the Federal High Court in Lagos to complete the case, which started in 2007.
However, the Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision by a seven-member panel led by Justice Amina Augie, on May 8 this year, held that the Federal High Court in Lagos acted without jurisdiction when it convicted Kalu, his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited and a former Director of Finance in Abia State, Jones Udeogu, in December last year.
The verdict of the apex court was not categorical on whether Kalu should be released from prison or not and his lawyers decided to approach a Federal High Court in Lagos for the interpretation of the judgment.
The Federal High Court led Justice Mohammed Liman before whom the applicant’s motion was pending, however, granted the prayer of the applicant, and ordered the release of Kalu, from the Kuje prison custody on Tuesday.
The Senator was invariably released on Wednesday by the authorities of the Kuje prisons.
Elated by the release of one of their own, Lawan and some other principal officers thronged Kalu’s residence at the Aso Villa area of Abuja on Thursday evening to pay him a “solidarity” visit.
Those who went with Lawan are, Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege; Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi; Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe; and Deputy Whip, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, among others.