Olisa Metuh Ready To Return 400 Million Naira

Metuh, Olisa MetuhThe embattled former National Publicity Secretary of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, has restated his readiness to refund the entire N400 million paid to him by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan for publicity prior to the 2015 Presidential election.

Metuh, whose position was made known in a statement by his counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu said he was willing to refund the entire N400 million regardless of the fact that the money had already been expended on the directive of the former President and that the EFCC had already recovered part of the fund from a prosecution witness.

The counsel confirmed that the defence team had been in talks with the Ministry of Justice, the EFCC and other necessary bodies on how to refund the money and resolve the issue.

Ikpeazu said that it has become obvious from the evidence of prosecution and defence witnesses that at the time the money was released to Metuh after his presentation to the ex-President, he had no knowledge of the source.

He, however, had every cause to believe that the money was from the ex-President to whom he made presentation, received directives and rendered report and accounts accordingly.

Ikpeazu said refunding the entire sum is in line with Metuh’s support for the ongoing war against corruption in the country and that his client is more of a victim of circumstance.

He pledged his client’s support for the anti-corruption war of the federal government.

Court Adjourns Metuh’s Trial Due To Ill Health

MetuhA Federal High Court in Abuja has adjourned the case against the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mr Olisa Metuh on the grounds of ill health.

Metuh who is standing trial for allegedly collecting 400 million Naira from the former National Security Adviser (NSA) Sambo Dasuki, was absent in court at the resumption of trial.

His lawyer, Mr Oyeachi Ikpeazu, informed the court that his client was on admission at the National Hospital Abuja.

Reacting to the application, counsel to the EFCC, Mr Sylvester Tahir said that he would reluctantly not object to the application, but will leave it to the discretion of the court to decide on what steps to take.

In his ruling, the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, said that the hearing was adjourned at the instance of the accused person, following a medical report by a consultant neurologist at the National Hospital who ordered a compulsory bed rest for the accused.

He, however, said that the medical report has made it difficult for the court to decide on the time frame of the bed rest because it was not indicated in the report.

Court Fixes May 25 To Decide If Metuh Can Travel

MetuhA Federal High Court in Abuja will on May 25 decide if it will vary the bail conditions handed down to the former National publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Olisa Metuh, to enable him travel for medical treatment abroad.

At the hearing on Monday, Counsel to Mr Metuh, Mr Oyeachi Ikpeazu, made an application, praying the court to release his client’s international passport to enable him travel to the United Kingdom to treat himself of an undisclosed ailment.

Back Ailment

Metuh is asking for five weeks to enable him take care of what he described as a back ailment sustained during his stint at the Kuje Prison.

Metuh’s Counsel while moving the application prayed the court to grant the application, saying it has inherent powers to vary the bail application and grant their request.

Rejecting the application, however, the prosecution counsel, Mr Sylvanus Tahir, said even though the court had jurisdiction to grant the prayers of the defence, the prayers were not properly made.

According to him there was no specific request, asking the court to vary its earlier bail condition and “in the absent of that there is a doubt as to whether the court should make a contrary order”.

He also said that the medical report submitted before the court on behalf of the accused person was not certified, even though it was a public document which emanated from the national hospital.

The trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, after listening to both submissions adjourned to May, 25 to rule on whether or not to grant the application.

Remanded In Kuje Prison

A Federal High Court in Abuja on January 15 has remanded the spokesman of the opposition PDP in prison following his ‘not guilty’ plea to a seven-count charge of corruption and money laundering.

Mr Metuh appeared in court, days after he was arrested by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for the charges.

According to the charges, the PDP spokesman transferred the sum of $1 million through his agent, Nneka Nicole Ararume, to one Sie Iyenome of Capital Field Investment, committing an offense contrary to Section One of the Money Laundering Act.

He is 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 contrary to the Money Laundering Act.

Court Orders A Neutral Place For Dasuki To Brief Lawyers

DasukiAn Abuja high court has overruled the federal government in its decision to confine the detained former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki to the premises of the Department of the State Security Service to access and brief his lawyer on the charges of corruption brought against him.

The court ordered that former NSA must be allowed to access and brief his lawyers at a neutral place instead of the premises of the DSS headquarters in Abuja so as to enable him prepare adequately for his defense in the trial.

Justice Husain Baba Yusuf, who issued the order directed that henceforth the detained former NSA should be allowed by the DSS operatives to access his lawyers within the premises of the Federal Capital Territory judiciary headquarters in Maitama, Abuja between Monday to Friday during the week.

The pronouncement of Justice Baba Yusuf followed a complaint by Dasuki’s lawyer, Mr Adeola Adedipe, that the legal team for Dasuki had not been allowed to have direct access to him in spite of a court order made on April 6.

At the resumed hearing of the case, counsel to the federal government, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) had told the judge that the case was slated for commencement of trial and that he was fully ready with his witnesses that will testify in the case.

However, Adedipe rose and informed the court that he was not ready for any trial because the ruling of April 6 which ordered DSS to allow them access their client for briefing so as to prepare his defence has not been complied with by the security agency.

The counsel claimed that a letter by Dasuki’s team of lawyers to the DSS asking for the order to be enforced was replied by the prosecuting counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, who said that access to Dasuki would be granted at a convenient room at the DSS headquarters.

Court Adjourns Dasuki’s Appeal Hearing

Sambo-Dasuki-trialThe hearing of an appeal filed by Nigeria’s former National Security adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, has been adjourned to a date that would be communicated to parties in the suit.

The Appeal Court could not hear the appeal following the inability of the Federal Government to file its brief of argument.

The counsel to the Federal Government, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, had told the justices of the court that the former NSA’s brief of argument was served on him last week and that by the practice of the court, he had 10 days to file his response.

He then applied for a short adjournment to enable him file his response which was obliged.

However, the Justice Abdul Aboki-led panel said that the date for hearing would be reserved until all processes had been filed.

Colonel Sambo Dasuki, had on March 3, also asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to stop his trial. He also asked the court to set aside the criminal charges of unlawful possession of fire arms brought against him by the Federal Government.

Dasuki told the court that the Federal Government no longer had moral and legal rights to continue his trial, having disobeyed the order of bail granted him since Nov 3, 2015.

The Court refused his application as the trail judge, Justice Peter Affem, held that contrary to the application by Colonel Dasuki, it was the Department of State Services (DSS), which was not a party in the suit that arrested Colonel Dasuki and not the EFCC.

He agreed with the anti-graft agency that it had not flouted any part of the orders releasing the former National Security Adviser (NSA) on bail.

Meanwhile, an Abuja High Court on April 6, fixed May 3 for Colonel Dasuki’s trial on charges bordering on alleged diversion of funds meant for the purchase of arms for soldiers fighting insurgency in northeast Nigeria.

He has denied the charges.

 

Dasuki Loses Bid To Stop His Trial

DasukiFormer National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) has lost his bid to stop his trial.

Justice Ademola Adebiyi, in his ruling, held that the former NSA did not follow proper process in filing a contempt charge against the federal government.

According to him, it is out of place for Colonel Dasuki to ask that the charges brought against him be dropped for reasons not weighty.

Colonel Sambo Dasuki, had on March 3, also asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to stop his trial. He also asked the court to set aside the criminal charges of unlawful possession of fire arms brought against him by the Federal Government.

Dasuki told the court that the Federal Government no longer had moral and legal rights to continue his trial, having disobeyed the order of bail granted him since Nov 3, 2015.

The Court refused his application as the trail judge, Justice Peter Affem, held that contrary to the application by Colonel Dasuki, it was the Department of State Services (DSS), which was not a party in the suit that arrested Colonel Dasuki and not the EFCC.

He agreed with the anti-graft agency that it had not flouted any part of the orders releasing the former National Security Adviser (NSA) on bail.

Meanwhile, an Abuja High Court on April 6, fixed May 3 for the trial of former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, facing charges of diverting funds meant for the purchase of arms for soldiers fighting insurgency in northeast Nigeria.

Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf fixed the date and directed that the prosecution allow full access to lawyers to Colonel Dasuki during business hours of Monday to Friday to enable them take instructions and prepare defence for their client.

Alleged Corruption: Olisa Metuh Opens Defence

PDP's Olisa Metuh in Court -EFCCPDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Olisa Metuh, has opened his defence at a Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Mr Metuh on Monday, called his first witness in defence of the case of corruption levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

At the resumed trial, Mr Ike Agbenna who worked as a media consultant to the PDP spokesman, said that the then leader of the party, former President Goodluck Jonathan and members of the party funded the Office of the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP.

This was contested by the prosecutor, who told the court that he has evidence of illegal financial transaction between the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) and Mr Metuh.

Having listened to the testimony of the first and only witness of the day, Justice Okon Abang adjourned the case till April 20 for cross examination and continuation of trial.

Following the judge’s ruling, counsels to the parties, Sylvanus Tahir, and Emeka Etiaba (SAN), restated their commitment to prove their case.

Abuse Of Court Process

In an earlier ruling, Justice Abang had dismissed an application filed by Mr Olisa Metuh seeking an end to the hearing of the suit against him in the court.

The spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asked the court to disqualify itself on grounds of bias by the presiding judge.

While he alleged that the presiding judge was a classmate of his and ill-disposed to deliver justice on the matter, Justice Abang refuted the claim and consequently dismissed his application as an abuse of court process.

Mr Olisa Metuh is standing trial on allegations of financial crimes preferred against him by the EFCC.

Olu Falae Admits Receiving 100m Naira From PDP

Olu FalaeA former presidential candidate and Afenifere leader, Chief Olu Falae, has admitted receiving 100 million Naira from the former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih.

Speaking to Channels Television on Sunday evening, Chief Olu Falae said that the money was received based on certain conditions and agreements and was transmitted to his party as soon as he got it.

He denied having anything to do with Colonel Sambo Dasuki, as rumoured.

“I never had any dealing whatsoever with the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki. No relationship at all,” he said, denying claims that he took money from the former NSA.

‘Six Conditions’

Explaining the circumstances behind the money he received from the PDP leader, he said: “All that I know is that Chief Tony Anenih, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP, approached me before the last election to seek the cooperation of my party, SDP [Social Democratic Party], with his own party in re-electing the former president in what they called an inter-party cooperation agreement.

“I gave him six conditions before we could agree to that request. One was that the government must prosecute the insurgency in the northeast more seriously. Two, that we are not happy with the level of corruption in their government and if we are to support them they must pledge to adopt a policy on zero tolerance for corruption. Three, that they will expeditiously restructure Nigeria by implementing the report of the 2014 National Conference. Four, that they will pursue the creation of jobs for the masses as a priority. Five, that they will reduce recurrent expenditure to create funds for development and six that if they win the election we will expect to play some roles in the new government.

“Those are the conditions we gave them and he accepted them.

“To formalise the matter, I wrote to him to confirm acceptance and in six days time he wrote back to say that all the organs of their party agreed to those conditions and they were happy with them and that they were happy to cooperate with us on that basis.

He further explained that after the agreement was approved by his party’s executive members, Mr Anenih called him to express the PDP’s readiness to support the party financially.

“After that he phoned me and said that he knew the SDP was a poor party and that we will need money to campaign for the President and other candidates that he will like to send us some money and he did so, which was the 100 million they are talking about, which I then passed on to the SDP party which then allocated the money to the various state branches of the party for the presidential and other elections. That is all that happened,” Mr Falae further explained.

He also promised to hold a press conference on Monday, January 11, 2016 to explain what truly transpired between his party and the PDP before the election campaigns.

Chief Falae’s political party, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), in an earlier statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Abdul Isiaq, on Sunday, had absorbed its National Chairman, Mr Olu Falae, of any wrong doing.

The party said that the 100 million Naira that was received by Falae from Mr Tony Anenih, was meant for the SDP/PDP Electoral Alliance project.

They also explained that the money was shared to all the 36 state chapters of the party in the build-up of the 2015 elections.

The party maintained that “neither the SDP nor Mr Falae was aware that the money came from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, through Chief Anenih and meant for arms purchase”.

The party stressed that “the SDP as well as many Nigerians were aware that the PDP had a fund raising event prior to the election where billions of Naira was donated”.

They said that the SDP was also conscious of the fact that the PDP had ruled Nigeria for 16 years and expected that the PDP was capable of funding their part of the electoral alliance.

 

100m Naira Largesse: SDP Absorbs Falae of Wrong Doing

SDPAs the search for persons involved in the arms procurement fund lingers, the SDP has absorbed its National Chairman, Mr Olu Falae, of any wrong doing.

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) made the declaration in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Abdul Isiaq, on Sunday in Kaduna State, northwest Nigeria.

The party said that the 100 million Naira that was received by Mr Falae from Mr Tony Anenih, was meant for the SDP/PDP Electoral Alliance project.

They also explained that the money was shared to all the 36 state chapters of the party in the build-up to the 2015 elections.

The party maintained that “neither the SDP nor Mr Falae was aware that the money came from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, through Chief Anenih and meant for arms purchase”

The SDP stressed that “the SDP as well as many Nigerians were aware that the PDP had a fund raising event prior to the election where billions of naira was donated”.

They said that the party was also conscious of the fact that the PDP had ruled Nigeria for 16 years and expected that they capable of funding their part of the electoral alliance.

The statement emphasised that neither the SDP nor Chief Olu Falae had anything to do with the $2.1 billion arms deal scandal.

According to the statement, “SDP was approached by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih, for electoral alliance for the re-election of the former President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.”

The statement also stated that Mr Falae, being the National Chairman of SDP, summoned the National Executive Committee of the party to a well-attended meeting to consider the PDP’s proposal of Electoral Alliance for the re-election bid of former President Jonathan since SDP did not field a presidential candidate of its own.

Lawyer Confirms Dasuki’s Re-Arrest  

dasukiA Senior Advocate of Nigeria and lawyer to the embattled former National Security Adviser, Mr Ahmed Raji, has confirmed the re-arrest of his client, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) shortly after he was released on bail from Kuje prisons.

In a telephone interview with our correspondent in Abuja, Mr Raji said that no reason was given by the security agents for the re-arrest of Colonel Dasuki who was granted bail by a Federal High Court and an Abuja high court.

Colonel Sambo Dasuki is currently standing trial before different courts in Abuja over alleged criminal diversion of 2.1 billion dollars meant for the purchase of arms.

The DSS took custody of  Dasuki shortly after perfecting the third bail granted him by Justice Peter Affem after two other courts had done same.

The former NSA had been granted bail by a Federal High Court and an Abuja High Court each in the sum of 250 million naira.

Dasuki, Bafarawa Others Get Bail With Conditions From Another Court

dasukiThe Former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), a former Minister for State of Finance, Bashir Yuguda, a former Sokoto Governor, Attahiru Bafarawa ‎and three others have been granted bail with conditions.

Their bail was granted on Monday by another Federal Capital Territory High Court in the sum of 250 million Naira each and two sureties in like sum.

Ruling on the bail application on Monday Justice Peter Affem, ordered that ‎the sureties must be a retired or serving civil servant in a government parastatal.

One of the sureties must be resident of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, who must also own landed property worth 250 million Naira.

The ‎court also ordered the accused persons to deposit their traveling documents with the Court Registrar and in the case where this condition applies in another court, the accused persons must get a letter from the Court Registrar of the said court indicating that the passport was in the custody of the court.

Justice Peter Affem ‎also ordered that in case of further investigation, the defendants could only appear at the anti-graft agency within the hours of 9:00am to 6:00pm local time.

‎The counsels representing the accused are also to recommend in writing that sureties are of good standing.

Justice Affem ordered the accused persons to be remanded in the prison pending when they meet their bail conditions.‎

Colonel Dasuki and five other accused persons are standing trial on a 22-count charge for alleged diversion of funds, misappropriation and breach of trust to the tune of 19. 4 billion Naira.

The charges were brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Dasuki’s Trial Stalled Again

dasukiThe trial of the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, over allegations of illegal possession of arms has again been stalled following the filing of a preliminary objection by the counsel to Colonel Dasuki.

Colonel Dasuki’s lawyer is challenging the application by the Federal Government to revoke the bail granted to the former National Security Adviser by the court.

At the resumed trial, lawyer to the Federal Government, Mr Oladipo Okpeseyi, told the court that he had two applications seeking to revoke the bail earlier granted to the accused person by the court and another application seeking to stop the further execution of the order of the court directing that the passport of the accused person be released to him.

He, however, told the court that he was constrained in moving the application, as he was served with the defendant’s objection in court and needed time to respond to the preliminary objection filed by the Lawyer to Colonel Dasuki.

He subsequently applied for an adjournment.

Lawyer to the former National Security Adviser, Mr Joseph Daudu‎, did not oppose the application for adjournment.

He said the Prosecutor was entitled to adequate time to enable him respond to the objections raised by him.

With the consent of the counsels, the trial judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, adjourned the trial to January 20, 2016 for the hearing of the preliminary objection and other pending applications.