The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has ordered the retrial of Chief Kenny Martins and three others in respect of the embezzlement of Seven Billion, Seven Hundred and Forty Million Naira (N7,740,000,000.00) belonging to the Police Equipment Fund.
In a well-considered judgment delivered by Justice Regina Nwodo, JCA, Leading two other justices on Thursday June 28, 2012, the appellate court among other issues, held that the four accused persons have a case to answer and that Justice Mohammed Talba of the FCT High Court misdirected himself and was wrong to have discharged the accused persons on a no-case submission.
The Appeal arose from a criminal charge preferred by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Chief Kenny Martins, Ibrahim Dumuje, Yaro Gella and Nigerstalg Limited.
After the trial at the High Court, the accused persons were discharged on a no-case submission. However, dissatisfied with the ruling, the EFCC filed an appeal.
On the issue of bias, on which basis an Abuja Magistrate court and a Federal High Court, Abuja had disqualified prosecution counsel, Festus Keyamo from prosecuting the accused persons, on the grounds that he had written several petitions against the accused persons in the past, the Court of Appeal held that a prosecutor cannot be disqualified from prosecuting a matter based on allegations of bias.
The court ordered that the case file be remitted to the Chief Judge of FCT for reassignment and re-trial of the accused persons.
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity
28th June, 2012.