Supreme Court gives final verdict on Metuh’s trial

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The Supreme Court has ruled that a former spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Olisa Metuh, should face trial for alleged fraud.

The PDP former spokesperson is standing trial for allegedly diverting N400 million from the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

Okon Abang, the trial judge had in March 2016, ruled that Metuh and his company, Destra Investment, had a case to answer in the seven-count charge of fraud brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The ruling was sustained by the Court of Appeal in May 2016, resulting in a Supreme Court appeal.

In his ruling on Friday, Justice Abang gave the same reasons given by the Court of Appeal for refusing Mr. Metuh’s request.

The Appeal Court had stated.that Metuh’s motion was regarded as incompetent for failing to comply with constitutional provisions for the filing of such appeal.

The Appellant court further explained that Metuh was wrong to have brought the appeal without first seeking the leave of the lower court, or that of the Appeal Court itself.

It then ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter, given the defective manner with which the suit was filed.

The Apex court in a similar ruling on Friday by its five-member panel, led by 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 was read by Justice Ejembi Eko. The apex court stated.its decision was 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,” Mr. Eko ruled.

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