EFCC To Appeal Judgement Nullifying Metuh’s Conviction At Supreme Court
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has reviewed the judgement quashing the conviction of Mr Olisa Metuh and his company, Destra Investment Limited, and will approach the Supreme Court to challenge it.
It made its decision known in a statement posted on its verified Facebook page on Friday, two days after the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal gave the judgement in favour of Metuh, a former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The anti-graft agency explained that it would ask the apex court to set aside the judgement of the Court of Appeal on the grounds that the appellate court erred by restricting itself to only two grounds – 12 and 14 – of the appeal that dwelled on the alleged bias of the trial judge but failed to examine the merit of the judgement of Justice Abang.
The anti-graft agency believes that the alleged remarks by the trial judge were not sufficient to nullify the judgement which was based on material evidence and submissions of witnesses called by the prosecution.
It claimed 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.
Metuh was prosecuted by the EFCC before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja on seven counts of illegally receiving monies to the tune of N400 million from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), under Colonel Sambo Dasuki.
On February 25, 2020, Justice Abang convicted and sentenced the former PDP spokesman to seven years imprisonment.
Dissatisfied with the decision of the court, Metah approached the appellate court with an application to set aside the ruling of the lower court.
In his argument, he alleged among others that the trial Judge was biased and failed to accord him a fair hearing.
Almost 10 months after the judgement of the Federal High Court, the appellate court agreed with the appellant that the trial judge was biased and nullified the judgement.
Justice Stephen Adah, who led a panel of three justices, then ordered a retrial of the case.