Alleged N400m Fraud Case: Metuh To Know Fate In 2020

Metuh Challenges Court To Examine His Health Status
A file photo of Mr Olisa Metuh.

 

 

The Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed a date to determine the culpability or otherwise of former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, in the N400 million alleged fraud charges brought against him by the Federal Government.

After four years of trial, Justice Okon Abang on Tuesday fixed February 25, 2020, to deliver judgment in the money laundering charges against Metuh and his company, Dextra Investment Nigeria Limited.

The former PDP spokesman and the company were arraigned in 2015 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), specifically on accusation of receiving the sum of N400m from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) without any contract.

They, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In his final brief of argument, the prosecution counsel, Mr Sylvanus Tahir, urged the court to convict Mr Metuh on grounds that he had led credible evidence against the defendants.

But Abel Ozioko and Tochukwu Onwugbufo who represented the first and second defendants respectively urged the court to discharge and acquit their clients on the grounds that the prosecution has failed woefully in establishing any case against them.

Following the adoption of final written addresses by all parties in the suit, Justice Abang announced that judgment would be handed down in February 2020, about four years after the commencement of trial.

Metuh To Face Trial Over Alleged Destruction Of Evidence

A file photo of Mr Olisa Metuh

 

 

A former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Olisa Metuh, has lost his bid to stop his trial before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) sitting in Maitama, Abuja.

The trial judge, Justice Ishaq Bello, in a ruling on Thursday rejected a no-case application made by Mr Metuh in his trial for alleged destruction of evidence.

He was said to have committed the offence while he was being investigated by the Economic and Finance Crimes Commission (EFCC) in relation to the purported looting of funds meant for the purchase of arms and ammunition during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

After reviewing arguments by parties in the case, Justice Bello said, “The view of this court is that the application for a no-case submission is lacking in merit and it is hereby dismissed.”

Viral Video: Aisha Buhari Apologises To Family, Nigerians

The judge ordered Metuh to enter defence in respect of the prima facie case already established against him by the prosecution, led by Mr Sylvanus Tahir.

He also adjourned the trial until November 20 for Metuh to open his case.

Mr Metuh entered a no-case submission after the EFCC had called witnesses and tendered evidence in support of its case.

Court To Hear Metuh’s Application Against EFCC Spokesperson October 7

 

The Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed October 7 for the hearing of the application filed by the former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Olisa Metuh against the spokesperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Wilson Uwajeren.

Metuh, through his counsel, Mr Abel Ozioko, had filed the application following alleged misrepresentation of the proceedings of the court in the media by Uwajeren.

At the resumed hearing on Metuh’s substantive matter, Ozioko drew the attention of the court to the report allegedly written and circulated by Mr Uwajeren, wherein he “misrepresented the proceedings of the court”.

According to him, the publication on the EFCC’s website, Facebook page and some national dailies titled: “How I shared N400 million from Dasuki – Metuh”, was outright falsehood and distortion aimed at “misleading the unsuspecting public” on issues regarding the case.

Read Also: How I Shared N400m Received From Dasuki’s Office, Metuh Tells Court

Mr Ozioko told the court, presided over by Justice Okon Abang that the publication, which he further described as malicious, mischievous and a deliberate misrepresentation intended to mislead the public, blackmail the court and derail the course of justice, did not reflect the proceeding in court on Friday, September 27 2019.

Mr Ozioko added that contrary to claims in the EFCC publication, Metuh “never admitted receiving any money from Colonel Sambo Dasuki neither did he admit to have shared the N400 million duly released to him by President Goodluck Jonathan, for an approved special national assignment to individuals for other purposes.”

According to the counsel, “the publication was deliberately designed to injure and drag the integrity of the court in the mud and derail a fair trial by selling to the Nigerian public, an impression that the defendant admitted receiving the said amount from Dasuki and shared same for political purposes.

He, therefore, moved a motion, to protect its integrity and put an end to the media trial in Metuh’s case by ordering that the EFCC spokesman, Mr Uwajeren appears in court to show course why he should not be committed to prison for contempt and misrepresentation of proceedings.

Thereafter, Justice Abang fixed Monday, October 7, for hearing on the application.

How I Shared N400m Received From Dasuki’s Office, Metuh Tells Court

Metuh Challenges Court To Examine His Health Status
A file photo of Mr Olisa Metuh.

 

 

A former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Olisa Metuh, has told a Federal High Court how he expended the N400 million he collected from the Office of the National Security Adviser under Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retd.) in 2014.

According to a statement by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Metuh made the revelation before Justice Okon Abang.

He was said to have explained that the fund was for “a special national assignment” in the run-up to the 2015 general elections.

The former PDP spokesman is being prosecuted by the anti-graft agency along with his company, Destra Investment, on seven counts bordering on money laundering to the tune of N400 million.

Reacting to questions from the prosecution team, Mr Metuh informed the court that there was never an instance where former President Goodluck Jonathan directly paid any money to him.

He insisted that the N400 million was for the national assignment as directed by the then President.

Upon being shown the statement of his account which had N6.6 million before an inflow of N400 million into it on November 24, 2014, the former PDP spokesman informed the court how he disbursed the money which he said was for a national assignment.

He said there was an outflow of N7.5 million from the amount through a cheque to a company, CNC Connect on December 2, 2014, and another payment of N21.7 million to late Chief Tony Anenih and N50 million to Kanayo/Olisah.

On that same date, Metuh narrated that there was another outflow of N31.5 million to one Richard Ehidioha, adding that two separate payments of N200 million and N300 million were made to Daniel Ford International also on December 4, 2014.

Other subsequent expenditures, according to him, include payments to CNC Connect in the sum of N70 million on December 15, 2014; N25 million to Abba Dabo on December 16, 2014, and N5 million to Mrs Kema Chikwe.

Metuh also told the court that a final report he submitted to the former president had all the expenditures of the said N400 million, captured in receipts and signatures for all payment of monies in cash and through several accounts for the special assignment.

He said he had about 19 accounts of which more than five were in Diamond Bank, adding that he made an investment of $2 million in cash in ARM, through its official, Miss Nneka Ararume.

After the cross-examination, Justice Abang adjourned the matter until Monday next week for the continuation of trial.

Alleged Money Laundering: Jonathan Gave Me N400m, Not Dasuki, Metuh Tells Court

File Photo

 

The Former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mr Olisa Metuh has told the Federal High Court in Abuja that the N400m project fund for which he is standing trial was paid to him by former President Goodluck Jonathan and not the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki as alleged by the EFCC. 

Mr. Metuh informed the court that the money which led to his arraignment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on money laundering charges was paid to him by former president Jonathan to execute some national assignment for the federal government.

Giving evidence on behalf of his company, Dextra Investment Ltd which is the second defendant in the suit and the account where the N400m was paid into, the ex-spokesperson of the PDP told Justice Okon Abang that he could not consider the money for the act of any unlawful purpose because it came from the then President.

Metuh recalled that he held a meeting with the then president where various issues and challenges facing the country were discussed; adding that former President Jonathan promised and made the N400m available to him to carry out the national assignment.

READ ALSO: Tribunal Adjourns Hearing On HDP’s Application For Cancellation Of Presidential Election

He stressed that the money could not have been for an unlawful purpose because he was helping and contributing to stabilizing the then government because President Jonathan was elected on the PDP platform.

Metuh specifically dismissed allegations that the money was channeled to him through Dasuki. “I did not receive any money from Colonel Sambo Dasuki.

“As I am talking on oath before this court now, I can say categorically that Dasuki has not been interrogated, charged or convicted for any act relating to me and my company Metuh added.

“The N400m was paid into my account by the then president and I did not conceal or disguise the money and it was not transferred out of jurisdiction”, he said.

He urged the court to take a look at the list of disbursement carried out in cash and in the cheque.

Mr. Metuh also dismissed the insinuation that the N400m was meant to fund the PDP, adding that at the period, the PDP was rich to the tune of N33bn, with N12bn generated from sales of nomination forms and N21bn raked from fundraising.

Further cross-examination has been adjourned to June 24, 25 and 26 respectively.

 Alleged Money Laundering: Olisa Metuh’s Trial Resumes

 

The trial of the former national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh has resumed at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

In a short bench ruling on Tuesday, the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, ordered Channels Television to play the DVD of its morning programme, Sunrise Daily, where issues on the Metuh’s health were discussed.

The prosecution counsel had told the court that one of Metuh’s counsel, Ben Chuks Nwosu, who featured on the programme, made comments that touched on the subject matter pending before the court, for which Metuh is standing trial.

After watching the video the trial judge said it was clear that the program was aired outside the court so he has no jurisdiction to determine their statements are prejudicial to the case before the court.

Metuh Challenges Court To Examine His Health Status
File photo of Olisa Metuh

The former national publicity secretary of the PDP is standing trial for alleged money laundering. He had also appealed to the court to grant him leave for medical treatment abroad.

Metuh has been on trial since 2015 for allegedly collecting N400million from the former national security adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

UPDATED: Judge Insists Metuh’s Trial Will Continue In His Absence, Criticises Counsel

 

The trial of the former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, for alleged N400 million fraud continued on Friday with the defendant still absent in court.

It is the second time Mr Metuh will be absent in court due to ill health and the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, has insisted that the case will continue despite his absence.

As the trial commenced, the prosecutor stated in his submission that more than 40 minutes after, no single lawyer had appeared on behalf of the defendant neither was there any letter to explain their whereabouts.

He also noted that the absence of Metuh’s counsel is willful because even if there was a letter, it ought to have come three days before today’s trial commenced, and as such the proceedings should continue as scheduled.

But in his submission, Mr Owugbufor (counsel to the second defendant) which is Mr Metuh’s company, said he is aware of section 349 subsection 2, which according to him, states that where a defence lawyer is absent from court after two adjournments, the court shall ask the defendant if  he wishes to keep engaging such a lawyer.

He further stated that if he then wishes to get a new counsel, the court ought to give him (the defendant) a period of 30 days to engage another counsel of his choice.

He also referred the court to subsection 4 which states that where a defendant is unable to get a lawyer the court shall make provision of a lawyer by way of legal aid for the defendant.

Owugbufor, therefore, argued that the application of the prosecutor is premature and should be dismissed or if the court wishes, it can be struck out until when the court considers the law.

The judge, however, maintained that the trial would go on despite Metuh’s absence.

Earlier the court summoned the General Manager of Channels Television Abuja office and a presenter of the station’s flagship programme Sunrise Daily, Maupe Ogun-Yusuf, to appear in court over allegations of prejudicial statements made on the programme.

The prosecution counsel had frowned at the appearance of a lawyer involved in the matter on Sunrise Daily and therefore asked that the representatives of Channels Television appear in court.

While addressing the court, Counsel to Channels TV said the order was forwarded to the chairman of the board because there is no officer known as the General Manager of Channels Television.

According to him, the chairman directed the Senior Manager News and Corporate Services of Channels Television, Oluyemisi Ipaye and also Mrs Maupe Ogun-yusuf to appear before the court today (Friday).

In his ruling, Justice Abang commended the station for complying with the order, even before it was made, saying it would help the court resolve the issues speedily.

He, however, ordered that the station appears again on July 3, at 9.00am with its equipment to play the said clips.

This, according to him will enable the court decide whether the alleged prejudicial statements related to the case were aired on the program.

Metuh who has been on trial since 2015 over funds he allegedly collected from the former national security adviser, Sambo Dasuki, collapsed in court on Monday (May 21) and has not been seen since then.

Olisa Metuh Absent In Court As Trial Continues

Metuh being attended to by medical officers in court on Monday, May 21, 2018.

 

Barely 24 hours after he collapsed in court, trial of the former Spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Olisa Metuh has continued at the Federal High Court in Abuja in his absence.

At the trial which commenced on Tuesday, counsel to his company, Destra Investment which is also on trial asked the court for an adjournment because Mr Metuh is receiving treatment at the hospital.

But the prosecutor, Mr Sylvania Tahir, in his reply to the application said that it has not been brought to the notice of the court what transpired after the defendant was taken to the hospital, especially because the court did not invite the medical personnel who attended to the defendant.

Mr Tahir said as a result of that Metuh is not entitled to enjoy the benefits of section 266 of ACJA.

According to him, it should not be presumed that the court or the prosecution knows the state of the accused person at the moment as there is no medical report before this court explaining the absence of the defendant in this case.

He noted that what is playing out is a complete disregard and disobedience to the authority of the court and the judiciary.

Mr Tahir said that there is no reasonable explanation for the absence of the defendant and so he cannot enjoy the benefits of section 266 of ACJA.

“We are urging the court to invoke the subsection A of the said act to take the conduct of the accused yesterday and continuance today as misconduct and proceed with the trial in his absence”.

He said that going on with the trial in the absence of Metuh will not amount to the violation of the right to fair hearing as submitted by counsel to Destra in his submission.

He added that a defendant cannot hold the court to ransom by doing things or taking steps deliberately intended to scuttle or frustrate the fair trial of a case.

Olisa Metuh Collapses In Court

File Photo of Olisa Metuh wheeled to an Abuja High Court on a stretcher on Monday, February 5, 2018.

 

The former national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Olisa Metuh has collapsed during his resumed trial in an Abuja High Court on Monday.

He was trying to make his way to the dock when he suddenly collapsed.

The trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, asked the court officials to explain what happened. The officials informed the court that when the case was called, Metuh was making his way to the dock when they all heard a loud noise and noticed the defendant on the floor.

The trial judge continued with the trial even though Metuh was still on the floor.

However, Metuh’s counsel, Emeka Etiaba in disapproval withdrew from the trial. He said he cannot go ahead with the trial when his client is lying on the floor.

He noted that his client is obviously ill and has been confirmed by the medical personnel of the court.

Justice Abang, however, insisted that Metuh’s counsel call his eleventh witness in the trial. The witness then came into the dock. He also overruled the application by Metuh’s Counsel. He said this an attempt to delay the matter.

Metuh is standing trial for alleged money laundering of N400million being part of the funds linked with former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

Metuh being attended to by medical officers in court on Monday, May 21, 2018.

 

His trial earlier witnessed a dramatic turn on Monday, February 5, 2018 when he appeared at the Federal High Court in Abuja on a stretcher, days after the trial judge ordered him to show up or face the risk of forfeiting his bail.

The former PDP spokesman was, however, wheeled to the court on Monday following the threat by Justice Okon Abang to revoke his bail if he fails to appear in court.

His lawyer Emeka Etiaba had informed the court in January that his client was on admission at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital for an undisclosed ailment.

Metuh on Wednesday, March 14 also approached a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, to grant him permission to travel abroad for medical treatment.

This permission was however subsequently dismissed by the court.

Metuh Cries In Court As Doctor Explains His Health Condition

Metuh Challenges Court To Examine His Health Status
File photo of the former national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Olisa Metuh

 

The former national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Olisa Metuh was in tears on Monday as his doctor explained to the judge his health condition.

This was during his resumed trial in an Abuja High Court for the alleged diversion of N400 million received from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

The doctor told the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, why Metuh needs to be flown abroad for treatment.

READ ALSO: Olisa Metuh Collapses In Court

After listening to the doctor, Justice Abang said the court would seek the opinion of the Chief Registrar of the court on the recommendations of the doctor.

The judge, however, rebuked Metuh’s counsel, Emeka Etiaba, for his ‘rudeness’ to the court.

According to him, Etiaba’s refusal to answer some questions asked by the court is compounding issues before the court and is rude.

Etiaba had earlier expressed disapproval after the Justice Abang overruled his application for withdrawal of the case.

This was after Metuh collapsed in court trying to make his way to the dock.

Etiaba said he could not go ahead with the trial with his client lying on the floor.

He added that his client is obviously ill and has been confirmed by the medical personnel of the court.

The trial judge, however, continued with the trial even though Metuh was still on the floor. He insisted that Metuh’s counsel call his eleventh witness in the trial and also overruled the application by Metuh’s Counsel.

READ ALSO: If We Obey God, Our Nation Will Change – Osinbajo

According to the trial judge, Etiaba’s application for withdrawal of the case is an attempt to delay the matter.

The case was then adjourned to May 22 for the continuation of trial.

Metuh Challenges Court To Examine His Health Status

Metuh Challenges Court To Examine His Health Status
Mr Olisa Metuh

 

A former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Olisa Metuh, has challenged a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to raise a medical panel to examine his true state of health.

Mr Metuh said this on Friday during an interview with reporters in Abuja, shortly after Justice Okon Abang set aside five days – May 21 to 25 – for the continuation of his trial for alleged corruption.

He is being arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and standing trial for alleged money laundering being part of the funds linked to former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

The former PDP spokesperson, who called his eleventh defence witness at the resumed hearing, insisted that although his health is in serious jeopardy, he was more than prepared to prove his innocence.

“The court missed a wonderful opportunity to establish the state of my health. My lawyers, on three different occasions, moved applications for the prosecutions (the EFCC) to bring their medical personnel to examine the state of my health because issues to do with MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), scan, and X-rays are scientific; they are not empirical,” he said.

Metuh explained further that court could have set up a medical team, noting that to have findings without medical records was not the best practice.

He disclosed that he had been to three different Federal Teaching Hospitals in the course of his ill health, insisting that he has never done anything to perjure in court or to give the court false impression.

The defendant, who claimed there was a ruling where his counsel was directed not produce any medical records in court, asked the court to set up a medical panel to ascertain his true state of health to let Nigerians know whether he misled the court.

He, however, maintained that the money he was being accused of misappropriating was judiciously expended in the course of his assignment as the National Publicity Secretary of the party.

At the last trial on Thursday, Justice Abang had stated his reservations while delivering a ruling on an application filed by Metuh, seeking the release of his passport to enable him to travel abroad to treat a spinal cord ailment.

The trial judge questioned why the defendant had not appealed the two earlier decisions of the court that refused to release his international passport.

He voiced his suspicions that there might be a hidden agenda by the former PDP spokesman to present the court as inhuman, by filing the same application before the trial court a third time, rather than going on appeal.

I Didn’t Collect Money From Office Of NSA – Metuh   

FILE PHOTO

A former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Olisa Metuh, has denied collecting money from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki.

Metuh, who is standing trial for allegedly diverting N400 million from the former National Security Adviser, made this denial on Sunday, during an interview on Channels Television Programme, Politics Today.

He said during the interview that he has never been to the office of the NSA and has no relationship with him.

“I did not collect any money from the National Security Adviser’s office. I have never been to the former National Security Adviser’s office.

“I had no relationship with the former National Security Adviser, I had a relationship with my President who was the leader of my party,” he said.

 

 

Metuh, during the interview, pointed accusing fingers at the Federal Government. He claimed that the APC-led government is witch-hunting its opponents especially members of the PDP and not truly fighting corruption.

PDP Accuses Presidency Of Conspiracy, Intrusion In Metuh's Case
A file photo of Mr Olisa Metuh’s appearance in court on February 5, 2018

“This persecution is more than that. They witch-hunt. It is not a fight against corruption. It is a fight against political opponents.

“How can you call someone a looter when he is still in court. How can you say someone stole when there is no evidence about it? When you are saying that the money paid into his account is an unlawful activity. You haven’t proven it. You have not established anything. Maybe because you think you can manipulate the judiciary,” he said.

The former PDP spokesperson also faulted the list of alleged looters released by the Federal Government. He claimed that the Federal Government is manipulating the judiciary and lamented that “this is not the democracy that our founding fathers established.”

Metuh also absolved the PDP of alleged corrupt activities or funds mismanagement, challenging the Federal Government to prosecute any PDP member found guilty of corruption allegation.

“Is PDP an individual, if there are PDP members that have looted, please charge them to court, even if they have gone to the APC. Do not say the PDP has looted because the PDP is not an individual.

“PDP as a party ensures the principles of democracy. We allowed people their fundamental human right,” he said.

The Federal Government in its list of alleged looters released on Friday named Metuh as one of those who have allegedly looted the nation’s treasury. In reaction to this, Metuh said the APC-led Federal Government has resorted to all kinds of tactics to dehumanise and intimidate him.

Metuh, in his ongoing trial for allegedly diverting N400 million from the former NSA has filed an application seeking to travel to London, United Kingdom to get treatment for a malignant spinal cord disease.

The Supreme court which is sitting in Abuja, however, adjourned ruling on Metuh’s application for permission to travel to April 19, 2018.