Two witnesses brought before a Federal High Court in Abuja by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have opened a Pandora’s box on how the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olisa Metuh, and his company, Dextra Investments Limited, transferred the sum of $2million allegedly collected from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd).
The first prosecution witness, Nneka Ararume, a wealth manager dealing in management of equities, fixed income instruments and real estate, said she collected the sum of $2million dollars from Mr. Metuh sometime in December 2014.
She said she changed the dollars into Nigerian currency and had it transferred to Mr. Metuh’s account.
The second witness, a bureau de change operator, said he had the sum of $1 million dollars exchanged to N183 million and transferred to the account of Dextra Investments Limited.
Metuh is standing trial for allegedly collecting N400 million from Dasuki’s office.
The trial commenced Monday after the trial Judge, Justice Okon Abang, overruled objection by Metuh’s lead counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) to adjourn the trial.
Ikpeazu also 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.
He urged the court to adjourn the proceedings as the inability of his client to meet the bail conditions had adverse effect on his preparation for the defence.
The prosecution led by Sylvanus Tahir, opposed the application for adjournment and his objection was upheld by the Judge.
Tahir then proceeded to open the prosecution’s case with the testimony of Ararume, an employee of Asset and Resource Management Company Limited, who narrated how she collected a total sum of $2m cash from Metuh at Metuh’s house in Prince and Princess Estate, Abuja.
Ararume who described her position with the company as Wealth Manager, 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 its naira equivalent through two bureau de change operators she engaged.
She said, “He gave me the sum of $2m in $100 bills. It was taken to bureau de change operators who would then transferred the money to ARM. From there (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 Kabir Mohammed and I also 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 to present.