BY ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH
IN a bid to remove the stigma of called ex-convicts, former Deputy National Chairman (South) of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olabode George and five others have appealed to the Supreme Court, praying the apex court to set aside their conviction by the lower courts.
In an appeal by their counsel, the appellants are praying the Supreme Court to allow their appeal, set aside their conviction and sentence, discharge and acquit them accordingly.
George and others were on October 26, found guilty, by Justice Joseph Oyewole of Ikeja High Court of fraud levelled against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, while serving on the board of the NPA.
Part of their grounds of their appeal is that the appellate court justices misdirected themselves when they allegedly lumped the issue of jurisdiction of the High Court of Lagos State to try them with the issue of the power of the Attorney eneral of the Federation to prosecute.
They stated that the Justices of the Court of Appeal having held that the offences leading to their conviction are those spelt out in the Criminal Code Laws of Lagos 2003 and that the charge at the lower court was initiated by the Attorney General of the Federation, erred in law when they failed to hold that AGF had no authority in prosecuting them (appellants) under the state law.
In addition, they stated that the appellate court erred in law when it held that the issue of non-competence of the Attorney General of the Federation to prosecute the appellants under the Criminal Code of Lagos State was an issue which was overridden by Section 167 of the Criminal Procedure Law.