The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, says it will approach the Supreme Court to set aside the December 16 decision of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, quashing the conviction of Olisa Metuh, former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, and his company, Destra Investment Limited.
Mr Metuh was prosecuted by the EFCC before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja on a seven-count charge of illegally receiving monies to the tune of N400million from the Office of the National Security Adviser, under Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd).
On February 25, Justice Abang convicted and sentenced him to seven years imprisonment.
Dissatisfied with the decision of the court, Mr Metah approached the appellate court 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 three justices, agreed with the appellant that the trial judge was biased and nullified the judgement.
The appeal court ordered a retrial of the substantive case.
However, after a review of the ruling, the EFCC says it has decided to approach the Supreme 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 dwell 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 judgment which was based on material evidence and submissions of witnesses called by the prosecution,” s statement by EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, said Saturday.
“The EFCC 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.”