In a fresh twist of corrupt charges, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has nullified the conviction and seven years jail term imposed on Olisa Metuh, the former spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and his company, Destra Investment Limited.
The appellant court had fixed today, Wednesday, December 16, to deliver judgment in Metuh’s consolidated appeals challenging the verdict of the Federal High Court which convicted him of money laundering on February 25.
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court had convicted Metuh and sentenced him to seven years’ imprisonment for money laundering, concealment and unlawful use of N400m allegedly paid to him and his firm by then National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd), in November 2014.
However, Metuh had challenged his conviction at the Appeal Court, asking that his conviction be set aside, and his lawyers were notified that the judgment would be delivered by the Justice Stephen Adah-led three-man panel of the Court of Appeal on Wednesday.
In the sitting, the three-man panel led by Justice Adah, in a unanimous judgment, held that the proceedings of the Federal High Court leading to the conviction of Metuh and his company 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.
Justice Adah, therefore, ordered that trial be conducted afresh as well as directing 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.