National Publicity Secretary of Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh, has a case to answer.
This was the decision of a Federal High Court in Abuja Wednesday as it dismissed the no-case-submission by Metuh over his alleged diversion of arms funds.
Justice Okon Abang in a ruling on Wednesday morning dismissed the application and ordered Metuh to open his defence.
The Judge further held that Metuh has case to answer based on the proof of evidence by the EFCC.
Justice Abang further noted that Metuh had in a statement he made before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, admitted that he was the sole signatory to the account where the fund was lodged in.
“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 1st 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 need 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”, Justice Abang added.
He noted that one of the witnesses had insisted that the $2m was linked to $47m that was withdrawn from the CBN by Dasuki and handed over to the Aide-de-camp to former President Goodluck Jonathan to share to PDP chieftains that participated in a convention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 court ruled.
The EFCC is prosecuting Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited, on seven counts of money laundering and fraudulent receipt of N400m meant for procurement of arms from from the Office of the NSA on November 22, 2014, and used the funds for the PDP’s campaign activities.
The prosecution alleged that the N400m from which Metuh was said to have given about N21m to a former Chairman, Board of Trustee of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, was “part of the proceeds of an unlawful activity” of the immediate past NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd).
But in a no-case-submission, Metuh had asked the court to dismiss the charges against him for want of prima facie evidence.
The case has been adjourned till March 17 for defence.