The Court of Appeal in Abuja, on Wednesday, nullified the Federal High Court judgement that convicted and sentenced a former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, to seven years imprisonment for money laundering.
A three-man panel led by Justice Stephen Adah in a unanimous judgment, delivered on Wednesday, held that the proceedings of the Federal High Court leading to the conviction of Metuh and his company, Destra Investment Limited, were tainted with bias, and therefore must not be allowed to stand.
Justice Adah, who delivered the lead judgment, held that the utterances of the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, in the course of the trial, established that he was biased against the convicts.
According to Justice Stephen Adah who delivered the lead verdict of the appellate court, allowing the trial court’s verdict to stand “will set a dangerous precedent”.
Consequently, it voided the conviction and sentence that was handed to Metuh and his firm, Destra Investment Limited, and remitted the case file back to the high court for a re-trial by another Judge.
It will be recalled that Metuh was jailed over the allegation that he received the sum of N400million from the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, retd, prior to the 2015 presidential election, without contract approval or execution.
His earlier conviction followed a seven-count charge that was preferred against him and his firm by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.