400m ‘fraud’: You have a case to answer – Supreme Court tells Metuh

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The Supreme Court has ruled that a former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, had a case to answer as regards the money laundering charges involving the sums of N400m and $2m instituted against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The composite judgment of a five-man panel of the Supreme Court on the separate appeals filed by Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited, unanimously affirmed the May 25, 2016 judgment of the Court of Appeal in Abuja which dismissed the appeal on no-case submission filed by Metuh.

Metuh is standing trial for allegedly receiving N400 million from the office of former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki. The Court of Appeal had earlier dismissed the appeal for being incompetent, thereby upholding the March 9, 2016, ruling of the trial court dismissing the appellants’ no-case submission.

Affirming the decision of the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that, “By section 233 (2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), appeals from the Court of Appeal to this court lies only against the decisions of that court.

“Such decisions evolve from the Court of Appeal upon the exercise of jurisdiction over appeals from the court below.

“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.”

Justice Dattijo Mohammed headed the five-man panel of the apex court and prepared the leading judgment, which was agreed to by other members of the panel – Justices Kudirat Kekeree-Ekun, John Okoro, Chima Nweze and Ejembi Eko.

Metuh, who had been complaining of ill health as he continued his defence at the Federal High Court, Abuja, was on February 5 brought to court on a stretcher.

The judge, Okon Abang, had adjourned Metuh’s trial until March 14, on the grounds of the defendant’s health condition.

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