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.
In a unanimous decision, a three-man panel of Justices of the appellate court, held that the judgement trial Justice Okon Abang delivered against Metuh on February 25, was tainted with bias.
Justice Stephen Adah in a unanimous judgment held that the proceedings of the Federal High Court leading to the conviction of Metuh and his company, Destra Investment Limited, were marred with bias, and should not be allowed to stand.
Justice Adah stated that Justice Okon Abang, who delivered the lead judgment, was biased against the convicts from his utterances.
He, therefore, directed that the case file be sent back to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for reassignment to another judge other than Justice Abang.
Justice Abang had in his judgment delivered on February 25, 2020, sentenced Metuh to seven years in prison. This was after he was found guilty of count one, two and three of the seven-count charge levelled against him and his company by the Federal Government.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had instituted the charge against Metuh and his company for alleged money laundering to the tune of N400 million.
Ruling on the first count charge, Justice Abang held that the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, unlawfully transferred the N400 million to the defendants in November 2014.
The judge maintained that Metuh and his firm reasonably ought to have known that the N400 million paid to them formed part of the proceeds of unlawful activity of the former NSA since they had no form of contractual relationship with him.