The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is set to approach the Supreme Court, to set aside Wednesday’s ruling of the Court of Appeal in Abuja, quashing the conviction of Olisa Metuh, a former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and his company, Destra Investment Limited, with an order for a fresh trial by a new Judge in the Federal High Court, Abuja,
Olisa Metuh was prosecuted by the EFCC before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on a 7 count charge of illegally receiving monies to the tune of N400 million, from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, under the President Goodluck Jonathan administration.
On February 25, 2020, Justice Abang convicted and sentenced Metuh to 7 years in prison, after finding him guilty of the crime.
Dissatisfied with the decision of the court however, Olisa Metah approached the Court of Appeal with an application to side aside the ruling of the Lower Court, alleging among others, that the Trial Judge was biased, and failed to accord him fair hearing.
Delivering judgement on the appeal on December 17, Justice Stephen Adah, who led a Panel of 3 Justices, agreed with the Appellant that the Trial Judge was biased, and nullified the judgment.
The Appellate Court then ordered a retrial of the substantive case.
However, the EFCC Spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement on Friday, said after a review of the ruling, that the EFCC has decided to approach the Apex Court, to set aside the judgement of the Court of Appeal.
According to the statement, the Court of Appeal erred, by restricting itself to only two grounds (12 and 14) of the appeal that dwelt on the alleged bias of the Trial Judge, but failed to examine the merit of the judgement of Justice Abang.
The EFCC stated that it believes that the alleged remarks by the Trial Judge are not sufficient to nullify the judgement, which was based on material evidence and submissions of Witnesses called by the Prosecution.
The EFCC added that it believes that as an Intermediate Court, the Court of Appeal erred in ordering a retrial, without considering the merit of the judgement of the Lower Court.
More news later…