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Saturday, 27 February 2016

How Metuh Tore Statement Sheet In Which He Mentioned Jonathan’s Name – EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Friday amended the charge of destruction of document against Olisa Metuh, the Peoples Democratic Party National Publicity Secretary. The charge was amended at the resumption of the proceeding by EFCC’s Counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, at an FCT High Court presided over by Justice Ishaq Bello. Tahir said the third-count of mischief contravened Section 326 punishable under Section 327 of the Penal Code.

Testifying in the case, an EFCC witness, Junaid Said, told the court that Metuh tore the commission’s document. Said, a Special Task Force Team member of the EFCC, led in evidence by Tahir, said the team received a petition in January 2016. He said the petition was from the office of the National Security Adviser, which alleged that the office, transferred N400 million to Destra Investment Limited, a company owned by Metuh, when retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki was the NSA. The EFCC witness said investigations revealed that the transfer was done without any contract approval. He said the team visited the residence of Metuh at Prince and Princess Estate, Abuja on January 5 and invited him to the commission. Said told the court that Metuh honoured the invitation and was interrogated by Ibrahim Musa, Michael Wetkas, Bello Umar, David Nkpe, Bello Adama and Eucharia Ibrahim. 

The EFCC witness said the defendant volunteered a statement to the commission. He added: “My Lord, when he concluded writing his statement, which was on four sheets of the EFCC statement form, I collected the statement and read over it, I then handed the statement over to my superiors – Musa and Wetkas. When I was handing over the statement, the defendant said he was surprised that he had written that much and that he felt he had given too much information. Because of the comment, I was worried. I gave him the statement sheets one after the other for endorsement. Said said Metuh endorsed the first and second sheet, but tore the third sheet. The witness told the court that the third sheet was where Metuh disclosed that he received the money for the activities of the Peoples Democratic Party political, to settle his personal needs and made reference to former President Goodluck Jonathan"

He added: “My lord, he suddenly tore the statement sheet into pieces. In great shock and surprise, I stood up I asked him why he did what he did. He said he did that because he was no longer willing to give the information on that statement sheet. I then requested the pieces of the statement, he declined and attempted to put them in his pocket. I then cautioned him and told him to respect himself. He insisted that he was going to dispose of the torn sheet. I persuaded him to handover the sheet and brought one plain paper before him. He poured the pieces on the plain sheet. My other colleagues were there looking at us in surprise as well. He further tore them into pieces, saying only in the movies would this be recovered. I poured the pieces in the commission’s transparent polythene bag for exhibit and made entry of the incident into the EFCC’s incident duty station diary as well as EFCC’s pocket notebook". Later in the day, he requested to make additional statement, which he made, wrote his name and signed, but declined to make any other statement on the torn paper". 

The EFCC’s incident duty station diary, EFCC’s pocket notebook and the tore pieces were tendered and admitted as exhibits. Said admitted under cross examination by Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), Metuh’s
Counsel, that the issue of the tore sheet was not written in his statement. Ikpeazu demanded for the witness statement, but the prosecuting counsel gave him a photocopy of the statement. Tahir said the defendants should have served him with notice to produce the document. Justice Bello said the matter could no longer proceed without the original copy of the witness statement. He said: “Documents must meet the status as required by the law. There must be a certified copy of your documents. It is a healthy practice to produce the documents in your custody, especially in a criminal trial.” 

Bello adjourned the case till March 16 for continuation.

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