Metuh’s Appeal Hearing Adjourned To May 5

metuhThe hearing of an appeal filed by the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Olisa Metuh, has been adjourned to May 5.

The adjournment was to enable the counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Sylvanus Tahir, to file his brief of argument to the issues raised by Mr Metuh in his appeal.

Mr Metuh is asking the Court of Appeal to set aside the ruling of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, who held that he had a case to answer in the criminal charge brought against him by the EFCC.

On April 8, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja dismissed an application filed by Mr Metuh, seeking an end to the hearing of a suit against him in the court.

Mr Metuh had asked the court to disqualify itself from hearing a matter against him on grounds of bias by the presiding judge.

He had alleged in his application that the presiding judge was a classmate of his, stressing that he knew him well and was therefore, ill-disposed to deliver justice on the matter.

In an earlier response to the allegation, Justice Abang said that he did not know Mr Metuh and had not met him before now, a position that prompted the court to dismiss his application as an abuse of court process.

Olisah Metuh Loses Bid To Disqualify Court, Others

MetuhA Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed an application filed by Mr Olisa Metuh seeking an end to the hearing of a suit against him in the court.          

Mr Metuh, who is the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had asked the court to disqualify itself from hearing a matter against him on grounds of bias by the presiding judge.

Abuse Of Court Process
He had alleged in his application that the presiding judge was a classmate of his, stressing that he knew him well and was therefore, ill-disposed to deliver justice on the matter.

In an earlier response to the allegation, Justice Okon Abang said that he did not know Mr Metuh and had not met him before now, a position that prompted the court to dismiss his application as an abuse of court process.

CourtGiving his ruling on the application on Friday, Justice Abang held that there were no substantial facts or evidence given by the PDP spokesman in support of the allegation upon which the court would disqualify itself.

The court heard another application by Mr Metuh and the second defendant in the matter, Dastra Investment Limited, to suspend proceedings at the Federal High Court, pending the decision of a similar case at the Court of Appeal.

It also considered an application asking the court to return the file of the case to the chief judge for re-assignment, and an application that the matter be adjourned to enable the second defendant change the counsel representing them.

This followed a disassociation from the previous counsel, who is currently representing the first defendant, Olisah Metuh.

metuhThe EFCC had earlier filed a seven-count charge of criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering against the PDP National Publicity Secretary, but he was granted bail by a Federal High Court.

Sequel to his release, the anti-graft agency arraigned Mr Metuh on a two-count charge for criminal destruction of evidence and property of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), but was granted bail by Justice Okon Abang who signed his release warrant.

Olisa Metuh Released on Bail

metuhThe National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Olisa Metuh has been released on bail.

Mr Metuh walked out of Kuje Prisons on Thursday afternoon after meeting the bail conditions given to him by the court.

A Federal High Court had on Wednesday, varied the bail conditions given to Mr Olisa Metuh.

Justice Okon Abang, signed his release warrant, upon being satisfied with the verification of the details of the two sureties provided by the accused and the title documents of the property owned by the sureties.

The verification exercise was done by the Chief Registrar of the court with the involvement of the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Sylvanus Tahir, whom the judge directed must verify the residential addresses of the two sureties.

A court official confirmed to our correspondent that Metuh met the bail conditions and presented the necessary documents just before the close of work on Thursday.

Trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, changed his earlier order that the sureties must be property owners in the Maitama area of Abuja only to an order that the two sureties must be owners of properties in any area of the Federal Capital Territory.

He, however, retained the sum of bail which he put at 400 million Naira.

Justice Abang declined the request of the prosecution, who asked the court to expunge him as part of the verification exercise of the bail conditions on the ground that it is not in his place to make orders for the court.

Mr Metuh is accused of receiving the sum of N400 million from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, without a contract, contrary to the Money Laundering Act.

Mr Metuh, is also accused of converting the said money to funds for political activities of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Mr Metuh was arrested by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at his home on January 5.

High Court Varies Metuh’s Bail Conditions

metuhA Federal High Court has varied the bail conditions given to the National Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP), Olisa Metuh.

Trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, changed his earlier order that the sureties must be property owners in the Maitama area of Abuja only to an order that the two sureties must be owners of properties in any area of the Federal Capital Territory.

He, however, retained the sum of bail which he put at 400 million Naira.

Justice Abang declined the request of the prosecution, who asked the court to expunge him as part of the verification exercise of the bail conditions on the ground that it is not in his place to make orders for the court .

The judge said that the prosecutor is an officer of the court and he  is not to tamper with any order of the court .

He ruled that should the prosecutor refuse to comply  with the order of the court, he would be charged for contempt .

In his application, counsel to Metuh, Sylvanus Tahir, told the court that the bail conditions were too stringent .

According to him, his client has no friends or relatives with properties in Maitama area of the Federal Capital Territory, as such, the court should vary the conditions to allow for property owners in any other part of the FCT to stand as sureties for his client .

The Prosecuting Counsel, who did not oppose the application and whose oral application was discountenanced by the court on the grounds that he ought to have filed a written affidavit indicating his opposition, however, asked the court to also vary the aspect of the conditions, which orders him to be part of the verification process of the bail conditions .

Mr  Metuh is standing trial for corruption, money laundering and criminal breach of trust.

The opposition party’s spokesman had on Monday, January 25, requested for a variation of his bail conditions.

Ekwunife Defects To APC Before Fresh Poll

EkwunifeA former Senator, who represented Anambra Central Senatorial District before her election was annulled by a court, Uche Ekwunife, has defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Mrs Ekwunife, in an interview with Channels Television on Friday, said she defected because the senatorial primaries were shifted indefinitely by her former party, the PDP in protest over the arrest of the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Olisa Metuh.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had on Tuesday, January 5, arrested the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Olisa Metuh.

A statement issued by the Special Assistant to Mr Metuh stated that he was arrested on Tuesday morning at about 10:00AM at his home by four officials of the EFCC and was taken away in an unmarked white Hiace bus.

The statement added that the officials told the opposition party spokesman that he was being invited on a friendly note to answer questions at the anti-graft agency’s headquarters in Abuja.

Mrs Ekwunife added that since the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said there could not be fresh candidate for the election, shifting the primaries, where she would have been endorsed for the exercise, might affect her candidacy under the PDP.

According to her, she decided to take a walk to the APC to actualise her ambition.

Mrs Ekwunife added that she is returning to the Senate to complete her contract with the people in her  senatorial district.

The Appeal Court sitting in Enugu, the Enugu State capital, had on December 6 ordered the INEC to conduct a fresh election in the district within 90 days.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Datijo Yahaya said that the election of Mrs Ekwunife on March 28, 2015, did not meet the prescription of the Electoral Act.

Mrs Ekwunife had contested alongside the APC candidate, Senator Chris Ngige, who is now the Minister of Labour and may not be vying for the Senatorial seat.

PDP Denies Rift Among National Officers

The national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Olisa Metuh has denied rumours of a rift between national officers of the party and the national chairman of the party, Dr Bamangar Tukur.

Mr Metuh who disclosed this in Abuja shortly after a national executive council meeting of the party reaffirmed the loyalty of members of the national executive council and the national working committee of the party to the national chairman.

He also reaffirmed the commitment of all national officers of the party to the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan adding that the party is united to face the challenges of winning the 2015 general elections.