The Supreme Court, on Friday, dismissed the appeal filed by the former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, concerning a ruling by Justice Okon Abang in the money laundering case filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In a unanimous judgment by a five-man panel of the Supreme Court on the separate appeals filed by Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited, the court affirmed the May 25, 2016 judgment of the Court of Appeal, in Abuja, which had ruled that the appeals were incompetent.
The Appeal Court upheld the March 9, 2016 ruling of Justice Abang who dismissed the ‘ no-case submission filed by Metuh and his company. According to the Appeal Court it lacked jurisdiction to consider Metuh’s appeal because the requirements for such an appeal were not upheld. On its part, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that it can only rule on decisions taken by the Appeal Court.
“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,” said Justice Dattijo Mohammed who prepared the leading judgement of the Supreme Court.
Other members of the panel include Justices Kudirat Kekeree-Ekun, John Okoro, Chima Nweze and Ejembi Eko. They all agreed with the leading judgment.
The EFCC is prosecuting Metuh and his firm, Destra Investments Limited, on seven counts of money laundering involving allegations of receiving N400m fraudulently from the Office of the National Security Adviser in 2014.
They were also accused of transacting with $2m cash said to be above the threshold of cash transactions prescribed by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.
Metuh, who had been complaining of ill-health as he continued his defence before the Federal High Court, was brought to court on a stretcher on February 5, 2018.
Justice Abang, on the grounds of Metuh’s ill-health adjourned till March 14 for continuation of trial to enable the defendant to recover.
Recall that Justice Abang had earlier ruled against Metuh’s no-submission case, saying that the former PDP spokesman needed to urgently answer several questions that had been raised against him by the EFCC.
“It is only the first defendant (Metuh) that can answer the questions. The first defendant admitted in his statement that the the second defendant (Destra) received N400m on November 24, 2014. Did the first defendant inquire from the bank the source of this money? If he did, what did he do?
“If he did not ask from the bank why did he not report to the police or even the EFCC to investigate it. If he did not why did he disburse the fund to the 5th and 7th prosecution witnesses? Did he also disburse part of the money to Chief Anenih as contained in count seven.
“If he answer this question it will be clear if the defendants knew or reasonably ought to have know that the fund represented proceeds of corrupt and criminal breach of trust by Col. Sambo Dasuki, while being the National Security Adviser,” Justice Abang said.