J. A. FABIYI, J.S.C. [Delivering the Leading Judgment] This an appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division ( the court below) delivered on the 4th of March, 2003, setting aside 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 having a 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 14th 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 Drug Law Enforcement Agency Amendment Decree No. 15 of 1992.
The prosecution called Nine (9) witnesses while the Accused did n…