Metuh: Court rejects application to stop alleged N400m fraud trial

Metuh: Court rejects application to stop alleged N400m fraud trial

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama, Abuja, has thrown away the application of a former national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, to stop his alleged fraud trial.

The court rejected a no-case application made by Metuh in his trial for alleged destruction of evidence while he was being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The case is connected to the purported looting of funds meant for the purchase of arms and ammunition during the President Goodluck Jonathan administration.

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Presided over by Justice Ishaq Bello, who ruled on the matter on Thursday, October 17, the court refuted the no-case application and ordered Metuh to enter a defence.

This is in respect of the prima facie case already established against him by the prosecution, led by Sylvanus Tahir.

Justice Bello said that the “view of this court” after reviewing arguments by parties, “is that the application for a no-case submission is lacking in merit. It is hereby dismissed.”

The EFCC is prosecuting Metuh, alongside his company, Destra Investment, on a seven-count charge, for alleged diversion of N400 million he received when Sambo Dasuki was the National Security Adviser (NSA).

Meanwhile, the Federal High Court in Lagos has awarded a punitive cost of N5m against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for freezing the bank account of one Mr Charles Aiyeyi since December last year.

It was garnered that Aiyeyi had stood as a surety for one Chief Jerome Itepu, who was being investigated by the EFCC.

The court revealed that the anti-graft commission had released Itepu to Aiyeyi on administrative bail.

However, the suspect jumped the bail and refused to honour further invitations by the EFCC.

In December 2018, the EFCC placed a restriction on Aiyeyi’s account. When the surety went to the EFCC office to ask questions, he was arrested and detained for 12 days. He was later released on bail.

The surety, through his lawyer; Mr J.A.K. Akhigbe approached the Federal High Court in Lagos for the enforcement of his fundamental rights.

He urged the court to declare that his detention and the freezing of his bank account amounted to a breach of his fundamental rights under sections 34, 35 and 44 of the constitution.

He urged the court to award N500m as exemplary and aggravated damages against the EFCC.

But the EFCC filed a counter-affidavit in opposition to the suit.

Mayowa Oladeji

WRITER at 1ST NEWS
A writer with a keen interest in human stories and topical issues around the world.

mayowa.oladeji@1stnews.com
Mayowa Oladeji

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