The Court of Appeal in Abuja has reserved judgments in two appeals by spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh and Biafra agitator, Nnamdi Kanu.
A three-man panel, led by Justice Abdul Aboki, told parties after they adopted their briefs of argument yesterday, that the judgment dates would be communicated to them.
Metuh and his company, Destra Investment Limited, are appealing the ruling by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in which the judge refused their no-case submission and ordered them to enter defence in their trial for alleged money laundering and unlawful receipt of funds from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
Kanu is appealing the ruling of Justice John Tsoho (also of the Federal High Court, Abuja) in which the judge agreed to the prosecution’s request to shield its witnesses in Kanu and two others’ trial on treasonable felony charge.
Metuh and his company are being tried on a seven-count charge. At the completion of the prosecution’s case earlier this year, having called eight witnesses, the court called on the defence to open its case.
Rather than conducting their defence, Metuh and Destra made a no-case submission, which Justice Abang rejected.
The judge believed that the prosecution provided sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case against the defendants to warrant the court to call on them to enter defence.
On his part, Kanu and two of his associates, David Nwawusi and Benjamin Madubugwu, are being tried before the court on six-count charge of treasonable felony, illegal possession of firearms, and managing an unlawful society.
Kanu is contending in his appeal that Justice Tsoho’s March 7 decision, which varied the court’s position not to allow the masking of prosecution witnesses, was given without jurisdiction. The judge, on February 19, refused prosecution’s motion for witness protection.
Yesterday, Metuh’s lawyer Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) and lawyer to his company, Tochukwu Onwugbufor (SAN) faulted Justice Abang’s reasoning in rejecting their clients’ no-case submission.
They urged the court to set aside Justice Abang’s decision, uphold their clients’ no-case submission and quash the charges against them.
Responding, lawyer to the Federal Government Sylvanus Tahir urged the court to dismiss the Appeal for lacking in merit and for being defective.
Tahir noted that the appeal being an interlocutory one, the appellants were required under the law, to obtain leave of the trial court.
He argued that having not fulfilled the condition precedent, the appellants cannot claim to have a valid appeal.