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Court Grants Metuh Bail With Conditions

Channels Television  
Updated January 19, 2016

Olisa-metuhThe National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, has been granted bail.

Delivering a bench ruling on Tuesday in the bail application filed by Mr Metuh, Justice Obong Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja ordered him to pay 400 million Naira.

Mr Metuh is to also provide two sureties that must provide 200 million Naira bail bond each.

The court said both sureties must be resident in Abuja and should swear an affidavit of means with two passport photographs.

The presiding judge also ordered the Chief Registrar of the court to ascertain the documents of the said properties and ensure they belong to the sureties.

Mr Metuh was also ordered to deposit his travel document with the court.

Justice Abang, however, decline jurisdiction in Mr Metuh’s second application seeking to stop the anti-graft agency from re-arresting him.

Inside the court, defence lawyers and the prosecution argued the application for bail filed by Mr Metuh.

Mere Speculation

In his argument, the prosecutor, Mr Sylvanus Tahir, had asked the court to reject his application for bail.

He argued that according to section 163 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, Metuh could not be granted bail because he attempted to destroy evidence against him.

He told the court that he had a counter-affidavit to depose to the fact that there was a tendency and propensity which he exhibited which showed he would interfere with the trial and impede justice.

But counsel to the accused person, Chris Uche, told the court that the anti-graft agency had not brought any evidence or documents to support its claim, insisting that it is  a mere speculation.

He said there was no evidence to show that his client tore the statements he made to the commission and therefore he should be granted bail.

Olisa-Metuh-trial
Mr Olisa Metuh has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him

Mr Uche criticised the anti-graft agency for bringing his client to court in handcuffs and asked the court to call the prisons authorities to order.

“My client is still innocent until proven otherwise,” he stressed.

Justice Abang admitted Mr Metuh to bail and fixed trail for January 25.

He, however, asked the anti-graft agency to ensure that it had all of its witnesses ready for trial.

But pending the fulfillment of his bail conditions, Mr Metuh will remain in Kuje prison

Mr Metuh was arrested by four officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at his home on January 5, at about 10:00AM and was taken away in an unmarked white Hiace bus.

His spokesman told reporters that officials of the anti-graft agency said that Mr Metuh was being invited on a friendly note to answer questions at the anti-graft agency’s headquarters in Abuja.

Reacting to the arrest, the PDP said that the arrest of Mr Metuh, based on an intelligence the party claims it got, was part of a larger script by the government to ensure that PDP’s wings were finally clipped.

Olisa-Metuh-in-Black-Maria
Mr Olisa Metuh entering a prisoner’s transport vehicle after the court granted him bail

It claimed it was a witch hunt of its members by the ruling party.

After Metuh’s arrest, the EFCC filed a seven count charge of criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering against him.

According to the charges, Mr Metuh allegedly transferred the sum of one million dollars through one, Nneka Nicole Ararume, to one Sie Iyenome claimed by the EFCC to be linked with Capitalfield Investment, committing an offense contrary to Section One of the Money Laundering Act.

He was also accused of receiving the sum of 400 million Naira from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, without a contract.

Meanwhile, Capitalfield Investment Group Limited has disassociated itself from Sie Iyenome, alleged to have received money from Mr Metuh.

The company said Iyenome was an independent broker and a licensed Bureau de Change operator, who had business transactions with the company through its subsidiary, CIT Bureau De Change Limited within the guidelines allowed by the law.