8th July, 2012
Coordinator of Police Equipment Fund, Chief Kenny Martins, has approached the Supreme Court to set aside the judgment of Court of Appeal which ordered him and three other persons to stand fresh trial in respect of the alleged embezzlement of N7.7 Billion belonging to the Police Equipment Fund.
In the appeal filed on his behalf by Chief Akinlolu Olujinmi, a senior advocate of Nigeria, Martins stated that the Court of Appeal erred in law when it held that a prima facie case was established against him and his co accused.
He insisted that the evidence led by the prosecution in support of the charge did not amount to a prima facie case and that the Court of Appeal failed to give proper consideration to the evidence in relation to the ingredients of the offences to be proved.
Martins further posited that the appellate court was wrong to have held that the prosecutor, Mr. Festus Keyamo, has the power to prosecute him when he had no fiat from the Attorney General of the Federation.
To stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from prosecuting them while their appeal is pending before the Supreme Court, the suspects had applied for a stay of execution of the judgment of the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal had in a judgment delivered by Justice Regina Nwodo on June 28th, 2012, 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 was based on a charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission against Martins, Ibrahim Dumuje, Yaro Gella and Nigerstalg Limited. After the trial, Justice Mohammed Talba discharged the accused persons on a no-case submission.
The anti graft agency however, filed an appeal and raised the issue of bias, on which basis an Abuja Magistrate court and the high court had disqualified prosecution counsel, Mr. 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 should not be disqualified from prosecuting a matter based on allegations of bias.
The court also ordered that the case file be remitted to the Chief Judge of FCT for reassignment and re-trial of the accused persons.