Meet Hon. Justice Stephen Jonah Adah, a distinguished judge whose state of origin is Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State, born on June 13, 1957. Justice Stephen Jonah Adah A is an Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria graduate, where he obtained his LL.B degree in 1981, and later proceeded to the Nigerian Law School, Lagos for his BL in 1982.
Hon. Justice Stephen Jonah Adah is expected to bring a wealth of knowledge and professionalism to the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) as he is part of a five-man team to seat on the case
On November 12, 1998, Adah was appointed a Judge of the Federal High Court, and in November 2012, he was elevated to the Court of Appeal, where he presently ranks 22nd on the Seniority list. Adah has presided over several notable cases, including serving as a member of the three-man panel that granted Obi and Atiku’s motions to serve Tinubu their petitions by substituted means.
In that case, Atiku and Peter Obi alongside their parties Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) respectively were unable to serve a copy of their petition to Tinubu on the ground he is inaccessible due to tight security. Justice Adah permitted them to serve the petition to Tinubu through the All Progressive Congress, APC.
Also, earlier this year Justice Stephen Jonah Adah led a three men panel that rejected a bail request by former Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari in other reverse an earlier ruling of the Abuja Federal High Court refusing his bail request. The rejection he said was on the ground of lack of merit. Thus supported the decision of Justice Emeka Nwite
In 2018, Justice Stephen Adah led a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal that affirmed the original judgment passed by Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory. The Abuja appeal court found the ex-governor of Plateau State, Mr Dariye guilty of diverting public funds amounting to N1.162 billion while he served as the governor of Plateau State. He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
Following his conviction on 15 out of 23 counts of charges relating to criminal breach of trust and criminal misappropriation, which were brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Dariye appealed to the Supreme Court to set aside the November 2018 judgment.
In 2020, Justice Stephen Jonah Adah through the Appeal court challenged the decision of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court. The Abuja Court of Appeal overturned the conviction of former PDP spokesperson, Olisa Metuh, who was sentenced to seven years in jail by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in February 2020. Mr Metuh had been accused by the EFCC of money laundering charges relating to the receipt of N400 million from the office of the national security adviser under the Jonathan administration.
The appellate court, in its ruling on Wednesday, found Justice Abang to have exhibited a bias towards the convicted politician, citing prejudicial remarks made during the trial proceedings. The unanimous decision by Justice Stephen Adah, who led a three-man panel of the court, nullified Metuh’s conviction and ordered a retrial of the charges.
Justice Stephen Jonah Adah further directed the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to reassign the case to another judge for an immediate fresh trial.
In addition, Adah led the panel that affirmed Ifeanyi Ubah as a Senator after his sack over alleged certificate forgery and also led the panel that affirmed Valentine Ozigbo as the PDP Guber Candidate for the Anambra Governorship Election. His outstanding achievements and contributions in the legal profession have distinguished him as an exemplary figure in the Nigerian judiciary.