BREAKING: Supreme Court gives final verdict on Metuh’s trial

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 said 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
said 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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