A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday ordered the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh, to pay N20,000 to four out of the six defendants, including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Attorney-General of the Federation, the Inspector-General of the Police and the Nigerian Immigration Services in a suit he filed against them.
This is as the trial Judge Justice Okon Abamg dimissed Metuh’s suit challenging his trial for allegedly destroying evidence and with respect to the money he collected from the Office of the National Security Adviser.
Justice Abamg in dismissing the suit said it lacked diligent prosecution on the part of Metuh.
When the case, FHC/ABJ/CS//20/2016, which was on February 9 adjourned till Thursday February 25 was mentioned for hearing, neither Metuh nor any of his lawyers was present in court.
But the EFCC was represented by Mr. F.A Jirbo during the proceedings.
The absence of the plaintiff and his lawyers prompted Justice Abang to dismiss the case on the grounds of lack of diligent prosecution and ordered him to pay the defendants N20,000.
Meanwhile, in the same Federal High Court in Abuja ruling has been deferred to March 9, to decide on whether or not Chief Metuh has case to answer with respect to the charges of fraud and money laundering instituted against him.
The EFCC accused Metuh of fraudulently receiving from the Office of the National Security Adviser in November 2014 the sum of N400m meant for procurement of arm.
It also accused Metuh of money laundering involving offences $2m cash transaction.
Metuh had after the anti graft body closed its case with eight witneses, filed a no-case submission, praying for an order discharging and acquitting him.
Justice Abang adjourned the case on Thursday after counsel representing the parties to the ccase adopted their written submissions for and against the no-case submission.
At the resumed hearing on Thursday, Metuh’s lawyer, Mr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), urged the court to discharge and acquit his client on the grounds that the prosecution had led no credible evidence linking him to the alleged crime.
The Judge then adjourned the case for either ruling or judgment depending on the merit or otherwise of the application by Metuh.
Justice Abang thus ruled, “The court will be adjourned for either ruling or judgment.
“If the no case application succeeds, the court will deliver judgment and the charge will be struck out; and the defendants will be discharged.
“In the event that the court overrules the application, then the court will deliver ruling dismissing the applicant’s no-case submission.
“The court, same day will calll on the defendants to enter their defence.
“In the light of this, this matter is hereby adjourned till March 9 for ruling or judgment as the case may be.”