On Monday 25th January, two cases of the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, was opened by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The first was on the charges of money laundering – involving the allegation that he collected N400 million from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in November 2014. While the second was over the confession of the Wealth Manager of Asset and Resource Management Company Limited (ARM), Nneka Ararume, who said she received the sum of $2 million from Olisa Metuh.
The trial commenced before a Federal High Court in Abuja and the Judge, Justice Okon Abang, overruled objection by Metuh’s lead counsel to adjourn the trial. Mr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) who was Metuh’s Lead Counsel had informed the judge that since Metuh had been unable to meet the bail conditions granted him on January 16, the defence had filed an application for variation of the terms.
Ikpeazu pleaded with the court to adjourn the proceedings as his client can not meet up the bail conditions and for which his preparation for the defense has been affected. The prosecution led by Mr. Sylvanus Tahir, opposed the application for adjournment and his objection was upheld by the judge.
The court proceeded to the next case of Nneka Ararume, who testified against Metuh. She narrated how she collected a total sum of $2 million cash from Metuh at his house in Prince and Princess Estate, Abuja. Ararume said the instruction given to her by Metuh was that the money should be invested. She explained further that she went ahead to change the money to Naira through two Bureau de Change operators, who where also witnesses in the law court and testified in favor of the Wealth Manager.
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“He gave me the sum of $2 million in $100 bills. It was taken to Bureau de Change operators, who would then transfer the money to ARM. From Metuh’s house I proceeded to Mr. Sie Iyenome’s office at Wuse 2 where I gave him the sum of $1m.
“I also invited Mr. Kabir Mohammed and gave him the sum of $1m to transfer the Naira equivalent in favour of Destra Investment Limited. Later on the same day, December 2, 2014, Mr. Kabir and Mr. Sie Iyenome confirmed the receipt.”
The prosecution also called Iyenome as its second prosecution witness, who also narrated how he changed the $1m to its naira equivalent and paid it to ARM. Both witnesses were cross-examined by the defence counsel. Trial has been adjourned till tomorrow for the prosecution to call more witnesses. The prosecuting counsel said he had 16 more witnesses, who are willing to testify if need be.
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