Supreme Court dismisses Metuh’s appeal, remits case to Federal High Court

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The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed an appeal bordering on the validity of two of the money laundering charges preferred against a former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, and his company, Destra Investments Limited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

A five-member panel of Justices of the apex court, presided by Justice Kumai Bayang Akaahs, in the unanimous judgment described the appeal brought before the court on behalf of Destra Investments Limited, by its counsel, Tochukwu Onwugbufor (SAN), as “storm in the teacup.”

Justice Akaahs, who read the unanimous judgment of the apex court, berated the company’s counsel to bring such an appeal to the Supreme Court despite the clear provisions of the law supporting the decision of the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, of the Federal High Court in Abuja, on the matter.

Justice Akaahs said, the decision of Justice Abang, which was being challenged by Destra, was right, as it was in line with the provisions of Section 396(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA).

The presiding Justice wondered why a senior member of the Bar like Onwugbufor could pursue such appeal to the level of the Apex Court and added that “Despite these clear provisions, learned senior counsel still came up to this court challenging the ruling of the trial court.

Akaahs held that what Onwugbufor should have done is to help his client clear its name of the allegations preferred against it and not to erect “roadblocks to frustrate justice from running its course.”

According to the presiding Justice,  “Whether a person or company or person has been accused of an infraction of the law, the duty that a senior counsel owes by the privileges bestowed on him is to help the accused person or company clear their name through due legal process and not to create the impression that his duty is to erect roadblocks to frustrate justice from running its course.

“The case is remitted to the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja for the speedy conclusion,” Akaahs held.

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2018-01-22 08:11