Justice E.O Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Thursday February 25, 2016 reserved ruling on a “no case submission” brought by the embattled spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Olisa Metuh on the money laundering charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).
Metuh is standing trial for allegedly receiving the sum of N400million (four hundred million naira) from former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd) who is being tried for laundering $2.1 billion.
Part of the N400million was said to have been used by Metuh to fund PDP’s presidential campaign for the 2015 election.
After the prosecution closed its case, Metuh on February 18, 2016 sought and obtained leave of the court to file a “no-case submission”
Metuh through his counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, prayed the court to discharge and acquit him on the grounds that the EFCC had made no case against him with the eight prosecution witnesses called and all the documents tendered, to warrant him enter any defence.
According to him, “the prosecution did not establish the essential elements of the offences charged”, a situation he said rendered the case against him “manifestly unreliable.”
However, the EFCC in its response, prayed the court to dismiss the “no-case submission” and order Metuh to defend his alleged role in the illegal diversion of funds meant for the procurement of arms as it had by the evidence placed before the court established a prima facie case against him.
The anti graft agency insisted that, Metuh, through his company, Destra Investment Limited, pocketed N400 million. The fund was electronically wired from an account of the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, operated with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to him through account no. 0040437573, which his firm operated with Diamond Bank Plc.
When the case came up on Thursday, February 18, 2016, Metuh pleaded to a seven- count amended charge bordering money laundering brought against him by the anti graft agency after which an application for a “no-case submission was made by his counsel.
Consequently, Justice Abang adjourned to today for adoption of written addresses on the “no case submission”.
At the resumed hearing, counsel to the defence, Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, told the court that, we have filed and served a written address on a “no-case submission” to the prosecution of which they have responded on points of law.
“We therefore urge the court to discharge and acquit the defendant based on the points contained in the written address,” Ikpeazu prayed.
Responding, counsel to EFCC, Sylvester Tahir, maintained that, the prosecution had established a prima facie case through documentary evidence and witnesses called to warrant defence by the defendant.
He urged the court to refuse the defendant’s application and order the accused to enter his defence.
Justice Abang, after listening to the submissions of both counsel adjourned to March 9, 2016 for ruling.