Friday, 9 February 2018

Supreme Court Delivers Judgement On Metuh Trial


The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that a former spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, should face trial for alleged fraud. Metuh is on trial for the alleged diversion N400 million with the aid of the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd). The Supreme Court judgement affirms the original verdict given by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja on March 9, 2016.

The trial judge had ruled that sufficient evidence had been provided by the EFCC to call for the trial of Metuh and his firm, Destra Investment. The ruling was sustained by the Court of Appeal in May 2016, resulting in a Supreme Court appeal. The Appeal Court had said that Metuh’s motion was incompetent and failed to comply with constitutional provisions for the filing of such an appeal.

According to the appellant court, Metuh should have sought the leave of the lower court before bringing up the appeal. Due to this, it declared itself lacking the jurisdiction to entertain the matter. The five-member panel of the Supreme Court, headed by Justice Dattijo Mohammed, pointed out that the court could not entertain a suit with a fundamental defect, emanating from the nature of filing at the lower court.

The unanimous judgement, read by Justice Ejembi Eko, was according to the court, based on section 233 (2) of the 1999 Constitution. “Where the Court of Appeal lacks the necessary jurisdiction, in the first place, to hear and determine the appeal before it, such as in the instant case, no decision of the court against the competent appeal lies to this court. “It is for that reason I strike out the incompetent appeal and affirm the judgment of the lower court below,” Eko ruled.

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