Armsgate: Court Dismisses Metuh’s No-case-submission
BEVERLY HILLS, March 09, (THEWILL) – A Federal High Court in Abuja has struck out the no-case-submission entered by the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Olisa Metuh over his prosecution for alleged diversion of funds meant for the procurement of arms for the military.
The EFCC had in a seven-count charge accused Metuh of receiving the sum of N400 million from the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) through his company, Destra Investment Ltd. But in a no-case-submission filed by his lawyer, Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu SAN, Metuh asked the court to dismiss the charges against him for want of prima facie evidence.
Delivering this ruling on Wednesday, Justice Okon Abang dismissed Metuh's application as lacking merit and ordered him to open his defence.
He ruled that there was a prima-facie nexus linking the defendant and his company, Destra Investment Limited, to the N400million that was transferred from an account the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, operated with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on the order of the erstwhile NSA, Dasuki.
Justice Abang further noted that Metuh had in a statement he made before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, admitted that he was the sole signatory to the account where the fund was lodged in.
According to him, “There are several questions that only the defendant can answer. He admitted knowledge that on November 24, 2014, the sum on N400m was transferred to his company's account with Diamond Bank Plc.
“Did the 1st defendant enquire from the bank the source of the money? If he did, what was the response of the bank? It is only the defendant that can answer the question.
“If he did not enquire from the bank, did he report the matter to the EFCC or the Police? If he did not inform the police about the cash inflow into his company's account, why did he fail to do so?
“Why did he disburse the fund PW6 and 7, and also to Chief Tony Anenih? It is my view that only when the 1st defendant answers the questions, that it will be clear if he knew that the transfer of the N400m formed part of illegal proceeds of crime by the former NSA.
“I have only heard from the prosecution and I am satisfied that a prima-facie case has been made out against the defendant. There is urgent bed for the 1st defendant to tell the court whether indeed he gave $2m to the PW-1 (Nneka Ararume) to convert to Naira equivalent and also the origin of these funds.
“It is my position that the defendant cannot be charged for money laundering if the source of the funds are legitimate,” Justice Abang added.