The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that a former spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh, should face trial for alleged fraud.
Mr. Metuh is standing trial for allegedly diverting N400 million from the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.
The trial judge, Okon Abang, had in March 2016 ruled that Mr. Metuh and his company, Destra Investment, had a case to answer in the seven-count charge of fraud brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The ruling was upheld by the Court of Appeal in May 2016, resulting in a Supreme Court appeal.
In a ruling Friday, the Supreme Court gave the same reasons given by the Court of Appeal for refusing Mr. Metuh’s request.
According to the Court of Appeal, Mr. Metuh’s motion was regarded incompetent for failing to comply with constitutional provisions for the filing of such appeal.
The court said Mr. Metuh was wrong to have brought the appeal without first seeking the leave of the lower court, or that of the Appeal Court itself.
The Appeal Court therefore ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter, given the defective manner with which the suit was filed.
In a similar opinion, on Friday, a five-member panel of the Supreme Court, led by Dattijo Mohammed, said the court could not entertain a suit with a fundamental defect, emanating from the nature of filing at the lower court.
The unanimous judgement was read by Justice Ejembi Eko. The apex court said its decision was based on section 233 (2) of the 1999 Constitution.
“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,” Mr. Eko ruled.