FABIYI JSC (Delivering the Lead Judgment): This an appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division (the court below) delivered on 4 March 2003,settingaside the conviction and sentence of the respondent by the Miscellaneous Offences Tribunal (the Tribunal) for drug related offences and ordering a retrial. The court below set aside the said conviction and sentence, on the ground that the respondent was precluded from havinga fair hearing before the tribunal.
It is apt to depict briefly the facts of the matter leading to this appeal.
The respondent herein was arraigned on 14 January 1994, before the tribunal presided over by Oni-Okpaku J. on a six-count charge of conspiracy to import heroin, importation of heroin and possession of heroin under section 10(c)(b),10(a) and 10(h) respectively of the National DrugLaw Enforcement
Agency Amendment Decree No. 15 of 1992.
The prosecution called nine (9) witnesses while the accused did not testify and called no witness. Th…