Sylvanus Tahir, counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the ongoing trial of Olisa Metuh, expressed concerns about the manner Metuh is going about his prosecution before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court Abuja.
Metuh, a former spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is standing trial along with Destra Investment Limited for an alleged N400 million fraud involving the Office of the National Security Adviser.
Tahir’s concern followed metuh’s frivolities which he said has no bearing with the case in court. While in the dock, Metuh had told the Court that he was publicly threatened by John Oyegun then Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
While being led in evidence by Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, his counsel, Metuh said: “Three days to my arrest, I was publicly threatened by John Oyegun for my criticism of the current administration. Ali Ndume, then Majority Leader of the Senate issued a statement noting that the PDP was in a state of comatose, without Doctors or Pharmacists to revive the main opposition party PDP, but has only one ‘nut’ currently holding the party which is Olisa Metuh.”
According to Metuh, the statement credited to Ndume served as “a signal to the government and its agencies that, they needed to remove that ‘nut’”, thus making him a target.
During his evidence-in-chief, Metuh further told the court that he never stopped criticizing the government on promises that were made to gain access to power in the past election. “I advised that they should stop celebrating imaginary achievements,” he said.
His counsel then applied to tender the July 15, 2015 edition of Vanguard newspaper, which was admitted in evidence by the Court and marked Exhibit B15.
Metuh also lamented that his bank accounts had been seized by the EFCC, and “all my investments at the ARM, the institution I have invested in for the past 14 o 15 years, have all been seized, including all my life savings; I can’t even feed my family, I can’t even buy Panadol nor cater for my family; I don’t know how I will survive this month.”
“I just want this whole matter to end, I am tired,” he added.
Ikpeazu, however, told the court that he was not ready for any presentation on the statement made by his client.
Justice Abang, while taking a position on Metuh’s statements told him to discuss with his lawyers regarding his statement “in order to reach a decision”.
Ikpeazu then applied to tender more online reports from Vanguard to PM News amongst others, which were thereafter admitted in evidence and marked as Exhibits B15, B17 and B18.
However, Tahir, raised an objection to the manner of the evidence being given by Metuh, stressing that the whole essence of evidence was “to draw us closer to the main matter, and stories which are not related to the matter at hand are unnecessary”.
“This is the fifth time the witness is giving evidence, only evidence germane to the matter is necessary, but all we are hearing here are just stories that are not related to the matter,” he added.
The matter has been adjourned to January 17 and 18, 2019 for continuation of defence.