ABUJAâ€”THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has finally filed an appeal at the Benin Appeal Court against the judgment ofÂ Justice Marcel Awokulehin on Chief James Ibori at the Asaba Federal High Court, recently.
Justice Awokulehin had on December 17 passed a case of no submission clearing former Governor of Delta StateÂ James Ibori of the 170-count chargeÂ levelled against him by the EFCC.
The anti-graft agency, however, kicked against the judgment and filed an appeal challenging the veracity of the judgment which it had earlier described as a judgment that smirks of corruption.
In the notice, the EFCC is asking for the quashing of the controversial verdict under four grounds that the court erred in law.
On the first ground,Â â€œit stated that the trial court looked at the proof of evidence and evaluated same as if the prosecution has called all its witnesses and trial has been concluded.â€
Secondly, that the procedure before is by way of summary trial and not trial by indictment or by information.
Thirdly, that all what the prosecution has to show is that there is a prima facie case disclosed against the accused /respondents.
Other grounds include: that the proof of evidence clearly shows a prima facie case against the accused/respondents.
That the learned erred in law when His Lordship held that there is no case disclosed against the accused/respondents as the particulars of error by Section 33 of the Federal High Court shall be by way of summary trial.
No proof of evidence is required under a summary trial procedure, the case of Abacha Vs State (2002)NWLR (PT779) Page 437 and all other cases relied upon by the court were not cases tried under summary trial procedure.
The learned trial judge erred in law when His Lordship evaluated the evidence and made deductions from the proof of evidence as if trial has been concluded before holding that there was no case disclosed against the accused/respondents.
The judgment is unwarranted, unreasonable and against the weight of proof of evidence filed by the prosecution in support of the charges.
The respondents to the appeal are: Chief James Ibori, Udoamaka Okoronkwo, Chiedu Ebie, Mer Engineering NigÂ Ltd, Baineonx Nig Ltd and Sagicon Nig Ltd