Nigerians witnessed a number of politicians and government officials deal with so many legal tussle in 2020 as President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti graft war opened numerous cans of worms.
From corruption cases to challenging election victories, Legit.ng in this piece takes a look at five prominent Nigerians whose legal battles made headline in 2020.
1. Ibrahim Magu, suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
The embattled former leader of the anti-graft agency was accused by Abubakar Malami, the attorney-general of the federation, of misappropriation of recovered loot, embezzling and diversion of public funds.
Magu has since been in the dragnet of the special probe panel. The committee had recommended that the president sack the embattled EFCC boss when it submitted its report.
2. Senator Dino Melaye
The former Nigerian senator representing Kogi West was sacked in a judgment issued by the National Assembly’s election petition tribunal.
Melaye’s rival, Senator Smart Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had challenged the outcome of the election that declared the former lawmaker winner.
Sadly, he lost his bid for re-election into the Senate to Adeyemi in the Saturday, November 30, 2019 senatorial election.
In 2020, the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal challenging Senator Adeyemi’s victory in the Kogi West by-election.
3. Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman Pension Reform Task Team
The former pension boss is being prosecuted by the EFCC for alleged money laundering to the tune of N2 billion. He is facing a 12-count charge levelled against him and a firm as well as diverting N100 billion of pension funds.
Maina was on Thursday, December 3, extradited from Niger Republic three months after he jumped bail and went into hiding.
Senator Ali Ndume who stood surety for Maina was remanded in prison by a court before he was granted bail on Friday, November 27.
While delivering his ruling, Justice Abang said he chose to grant the senator bail based on his record of good behaviour before the court, despite that the other grounds of his bail application failed.
4. Senator Orji Uzor Kalu
The Supreme Court nullified the court judgment that sentenced a former governor of Abia state to 12 years imprisonment over alleged corruption. He was jailed back in December 2019 over alleged stealing of public funds.
The apex court nullified Kalu’s conviction in a unanimous decision by a seven-man panel of Justices led by Justice Amina Augie on Friday, May 8.
The panel faulted the conviction of the former governor on the grounds that the Federal High Court in Lagos acted without jurisdiction when it convicted Kalu.
5. Olisa Metuh, former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national publicity secretary
Metuh was sentenced to seven years in prison by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja after a four-year legal battle.
The trial judge sentenced the politician after he was found guilty of seven counts of money laundering and criminal diversion of funds to the tune of N400 million slammed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The former spokesperson who was arrested in January 2016, was sentenced to seven years on counts 1, 2, 4 and 7 of the charge, while the count handed him five years on count 3, three years on count 5 and 6.
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