DasukiGate: You Have A Case To Answer – Court Tells Olisa Metuh
After he applied through his counsel that the case preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) be struck out for lack of merit, the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olisa Metuh, has been told he has a case to answer.
The Justice Okon Abang-led Federal High Court sitting in Abuja held that the EFCC had been able to established a prima facie case against the defendant regarding the alleged payment of N400 million to Destra Nigeria Limited, a company where the defendant is the sole signatory to its account, from the Office of the National Security Adviser under Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
The payment was said to have been made through the ONSA’s account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the company’s account with Diamond Bank, with account number 0040437573.
While the defendant through his lawyer, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), had applied to have the case struck out, the EFCC through its counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, argued against the application, saying it had been able to prove to the court through the oral and written evidence of prosecution witnesses that the defendant had a case to answer.
In his ruling, Justice Abang said the prosecution had been able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt, and a prima-facie case had indeed been established, with the onus on the defendant to enter his defence.
The judge held: “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 first 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.”
The judge noted one of the witnesses had reiterated that the $2 million was linked to $47 million that was withdrawn from the CBN by Dasuki and handed over to Col. Ojogbane Adegbe, the Aide-de-camp to former President Goodluck Jonathan, to share to PDP chieftains that participated in a convention the party held on November 27, 2014.
“The no-case submission lacks merit and same is accordingly dismissed. The defendant is to enter his defence today,” the judge held.