Judge postpones Olisa Metuh’s fraud trial to attend seminar in Lagos
The absence Thursday of a Federal High Court judge in the N400 million fraud case against Olisa Metuh, stalled the re-arraignment of the former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
Justice Obiora Egwuatu is said to be attending a judges’ seminar in Lagos State, and has fixed February 15, 2022 for Mr Metuh’s retrial.
Mr Egwuatu had on September 28, fixed today for the former PDP spokesperson’s re-arraignment, following his inability to sit on that day.
The Court of Appeal in Abuja on December 16, 2020, nullified a Federal High Court judgement that convicted and sentenced Mr Metuh to seven years imprisonment for money laundering.
In a unanimous decision, the three-man panel held that the judgment by Justice Okon Abang against Mr Metuh on February 25, 2020, was tainted with bias.
The appellate court ruled that Mr Abang, had by disparaging remarks he made in the judgement, betrayed a premeditated mindset against Mr Metuh.
According to 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 Mr Metuh and his firm, Destra Investment Limited, and remitted the case file back to the high court for a re-trial by another judge.
Mr Metuh is being tried for receiving N400 million from the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, 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).
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