Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC) new charges against Olisa Metuh for alleged N400 million money laundering on Monday.
After considering the submissions of counsel for the defendants in the suit that a matter pending before the Supreme Court cannot be decided by the trial court, Justice Nwite struck it out.
During the day’s proceedings, EFCC counsel Olarewaju Adeola told the court that the trial court had reached a decision on the matter, which the defendant had appealed, and that the Court of Appeal had set aside the trial court’s decision, ordering a retrial by another trial judge.
He also stated that the matter is currently before the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the Appeal Court but the first defendant has an application for the release of his international passport before the trial court.
Mister Metuh’s counsel, Afam Osigwe, also told the court that his client doesn’t have any application before the Federal High Court as Justice Nkeonye Maha had made a subsisting order which allows for the effective release of his client’s passport.
He averred that the matter is a gross abuse of court process as the EFCC cannot start the matter afresh while it is pending before the apex court.
He then urged the court to either strike out the suit or stay proceeding, pending the outcome of the appeal at the Supreme Court.
In his reply, the EFCC lawyer, who agreed to the submissions of the counsel for the defendants, said the prosecution will be more comfortable if the matter is adjourned indefinitely.
Justice Nwite after listening to the submissions of all the lawyers in the suit agreed with the fact that the EFCC cannot start a fresh suit while the appeal in the suit is pending before the supreme court.
The court, therefore, struck out the suit on grounds that it is a gross abuse of the court process.