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N400 fraud: Why Justice Abang convicted Olisa Metuh

metuh

Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court on Tuesday in Abuja convicted and found Olisa Metuh guilty on seven counts filed by the Economic and Financil Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Olisa Metuh

Metuh was arraigned by the Federal Government in 2016 over allegations of unlawfully receiving N400m from the office of the then National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

Mr Metuh is being prosecuted by the EFCC, alongside his company, Destra Investment, on a seven-count charge of diversion of the money received when Sambo Dasuki who was the National Security Adviser.

The former PDP spokesperson was also accused of transacting with the sum of $2 million without going through a financial institution, in violation of a provision of the Money Laundering (Prohibition}

Metuh had earlier tendered a document detailing disbursements, names and signatures of individuals who received funds in execution of the national assignment which was admitted and marked as exhibit 20.

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Metuh told the court in May that no part of the N400 million was spent on any activity of the PDP, contrary to the claims of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, ( EFCC).

He said that his record of account and receipts of payments showed that the entire fund was used for the national assignment as directed by President Jonathan.

“No part of the N400 million was spent on any activity of the PDP.

“The record of account and all the expenditure made, with receipts, bearing the names of those who received funds show that the entire N400 million was expended in execution of the special national assignment.

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“President Jonathan had always insisted that the party must not benefit from government funding and that no government fund or asset must be used to promote or support the activities of the party,” Metuh said.

Continuing in his evidence, in May Metuh cleared the air on his earlier hesitation to give out the names of those who worked under him in the execution of the assignment to the EFCC but preferred to tender them in court.

“Such individuals include respected professionals in various fields, including university lecturers and i will not want them to suffer the embarrassment of unnecessary negative media report and misrepresentations at the time.

“Exhibit 20 contains the names of professionals who worked with me and received funds in execution of the assignment.

”They accepted to participate in the assignment due to the confidence and trust they have in my integrity, I did not want them to suffer the humiliation of negative reports at the time.

“It was for this reason that I insisted that if there are any questions, repercussions, refunds or persecution to be suffered in that regard, it should be directed at me personally, Metuh said.

Metuh is standing trial for allegedly receiving the sum of N400 million from the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, monies earmarked for the purchase of arms at the heat of the Boko Haram insurgency.

He was also accused of transacting with cash of $2 million without going through a final institution in violation of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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