Court Remands Badeh In Kuje Prison

alex badehA Federal High Court in Abuja has remanded a former Chief of Defence Staff in Nigeria, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, in Kuje Prison after he pleaded not guilty to a 10-count charge of money laundering. 

The court order came after an anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), at Monday’s proceeding asked the court to remand the former Chief of Defence Staff.

But in an attempt to make a bail application, the counsel to Air Chief Marshal Badeh, drew the attention of the court to a motion for bail filed by his client on March 2.

The presiding judge, Justice Obong Abang, however, held that the motion was not competent, as the court could only exercises jurisdiction over an accused person when he is arraigned.

Justice Abang thereafter struck out the application for lack of merit, but obliged the request of the accused person’s lawyer to hear the bail application in the shortest possible time.

Meanwhile, the Director of Public Prosecution told the court that he would not be able to commence with the trial.

The trial judge then adjourned till March 19 to hear the bail application.

Air Chief Marshall Badeh is alleged to have used funds of the Nigeria Air Force to purchase choice property in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.

According to the EFCC, he illegally used Six million Naira to renovate his son’s house, which he purchased for 260 million Naira in Abuja between January and December 2013.

The former Defence Chief is also alleged to have used 876 million Naira belonging to the Nigerian Air Force to build a shopping mall in  Abuja.

On March 4, a Federal High Court in Abuja turned down a fundamental rights enforcement application filed by Air Chief Marshal Badeh.

Mr Badeh in his application, sought the enforcement of his fundamental rights to liberty pending when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) would be ready to charge him.

But the presiding judge, Justice James Tsoho, said that there was a subsisting withholding charge order by a Magistrate Court in Lagos, which gave the Anti-graft agency the right to detain him.

The former Chief of Defence Staff is facing a 10-count charge on money laundering and criminal breach of trust to the tune of 3.9 billion Naira.

Court Refuses Evidence Against Metuh

MetuhAn FCT High Court has refused the evidence of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mr Olisa Metuh over alleged destruction of statements.

Justice Ishaq Bello ruled that the evidence, which is a pocket notebook entry of an EFCC investigator, could only be tendered and admitted through a certified through copy.

Earlier, EFCC counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, had sought to tender the pocket book entry of Sa’ad Junaid, the operative who investigated the case, but defence counsel Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) requested the prosecution to produce the certified true copy of the notebook as provided in the Evidence Act, which he could not produce.

The trial judge then declined to admit the pocket notebook as evidence.

The EFCC had on January 21, 2016 arraigned Metuh on two-count charges of attempting to destroy evidence to be used for his trial in the allegation of receiving 400 million Naira from the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel  Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) for which he has already been arraigned in another court.

The anti-graft commission’s charge stated that Metuh “tore into pieces statement made under caution” contrary to Section 326 of the penal code and punishable under section 327 of the same code.

The case has been adjourned to March 16 for continuation of hearing.

Court Grants Metuh Leave To File ‘No Case Submission’

Olisa-Metuh-trialA Federal High Court in Abuja has granted leave to Mr Olisa Metuh, to file a ‘no case submission’ in the charges of money laundering and diversion of public funds filed against him by an anti-graft agency. 

Opening his defence, Mr Metuh, who is the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), told the court that he had filed an application, but the prosecutor, Mr Sylvester Tahir, interjected by telling the court that the prosecution had an amended charge to replace the initial charge for which he had entered a not-guilty plea.

With no objection from the defence counsel, Oyeachi Ikpeazu, the charges were again read to Mr Metuh who entered a not-guilty plea.

The PDP Spokesman consequently prayed the court to allow him make a ‘no case submission’ through a written address, despite the protest of the prosecution as to the mode of making his submission.

In his ruling, Justice Obong Abang pointed out that an accused person was at liberty to take any decision that he considered proper for his own defence.

He stated that there was no law preventing Mr Metuh from doing so through a written address.

Justice Abang said that the PDP spokesman was permitted to file his address as soon as the case was adjourned.

He added that while the prosecution was to reply in the next three days, and should Metuh need to respond to the prosecutor’s address, he was to do so within 24 hours.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had brought an amendment charge against Mr Metuh, one week after closing its case.

According to the Prosecuting Counsel, the new charges would have no material effect on the earlier charges brought against PDP’s spokesman.

How I Invested $2Million For Olisa Metuh – Wealth Manager

metuhA prosecution witness and former wealth manager with the Commercial Resource Management Company has told the court how Mr Olisa Metuh allegedly gave her the sum of two million dollars and how she managed the funds for him.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission opened its case against the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Olisa Metuh at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday.

Led in evidence, the first prosecution witness, one Miss Nicole Ararume, told the court that she received two million dollars in 100 dollar bills from him which she took to two bureau the change companies for onward transfer to the Asset and Resources Management account of Mr Metuh and his company, Destra Investment Limited.

The lawyers to Mr Metuh asked for an adjournment for him to prepare materials required for cross examination but the judge refused to adjourn the cross examination of the prosecution witness on the grounds that there was no cogent reason before the court to do so.

Consequently, a second witness – the owner of a bureau de change company was invited to testify and he corroborated the first witness’s testimony.

He recounted how he received half of the said fund and transferred same to the account of Mr Metuh.

In what has become the usual, Mr Metuh arrived the court premises in the company of prison officials and in handcuffs but this did not deter him from exchanging banters and hugs with friends and relations.

In his earlier attempt to get an adjournment, counsel to Mr Metuh, Oyeachi Ikpeazu, had complained that it had been difficult to adequately prepare for trial as the prison officials have made interaction with his client difficult.

He told the court that the allegations of the witness were serious and there was a need to get the necessary documents to enable him adequately cross examine her.

The counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Tahir Sylvanus, objected to the application, saying: “It has been known to the defence that trial will commence today, as such, it should have adequately prepared for the case”.

Mr Sylvanus also told the court that he had front loaded all the account details relating to the transaction, as such there was no cogent reason why the hearing should be adjourned.

Again Mr Ikpeazu argued that he could not cross examine a prosecution witness based on its document but the defence would rely on its own generated document to do so.

 

Court Grants Metuh Bail At 300m Naira

Olisa-Metuh-trialA Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court has granted the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Olisa Metuh bail in the sum of 300 million Naira and two sureties in like sum.

In the ruling on Friday, the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Justice Ishaq Bello, stressed that the sureties must be resident in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.

Mr Metuh is facing a seven-count charge of criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering.

He is accused of receiving 400 million Naira from the former National Security Adviser, retired colonel Sambo Dasuki.

The amount is part of the allegedly diverted sum of $2.1 billion meant for the purchase of arms.

The bail followed an oral application filed by Mr Metuh’s counsel, Mr Oyeachi Ikpeazu, in a case of destruction of evidence filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Mr Ikpeazu told the court that Mr Metuh would not jump bail or interfere with his trial, as such he should be granted bail on self-recognizance.

But counsel to the EFCC, who did not oppose bail, however asked the court to grant bail with conditions that would ensure Mr Metuh’s presence in court for his trial.

The EFCC had accused Mr Metuh of destroying evidence and properties belonging to the anti-graft agency, contrary to section one and section 326 of the Penal Code.

The bail amount is 100 million Naira less than that initially given as condition by a High Court on Tuesday.

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.

Olisa-metuh
Olisa Metuh brought to court in chains, something this party has condemned

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.

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.

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.