Federal High Court in Abuja will on February 25 deliver judgment in the four years trial of a former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olisa Metuh, on money laundering charges involving the N400m.
Metuh was accused of receiving fraudulently from the Office of the National Security Adviser in 2015.
Justice Okon Abang fixed Tuesday for judgment after the prosecution and the defence lawyers made their closing arguments on November 26, 2019.
Metuh and his company, Destra Investment Limited, are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on seven counts of money laundering, including allegations that they both fraudulently took the N400m “when they reasonably ought to know” that the money was part of the proceeds of alleged criminal act of the then NSA, Sambo Dasuki.
Metuh was also accused of transacting with a cash of $2m without going through a financial institution in violation of a provision of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.
The defendants had pleaded not guilty to all the seven counts when they were arraigned before the court in January 2016.
On November 26, the defence team, comprising Mr. Abel Ozioko, who appeared for Metuh and Mr. Tochukwu Onwugbufor (SAN) for Destra Investments, urged the court to discharge and acquit their clients on the grounds that the prosecution failed to prove the alleged offences.
But the EFCC’s prosecuting counsel, Mr. Sylvanus Tahir, maintained that his team had proved all the offences charged beyond reasonable doubt, as he called on the judge to pass a guilty verdict on the defendants.
Adopting the written address which he filed on Metuh’s behalf, Ozioko contended that the N400m received from ONSA by the defendants was meant for provision of “security services” as authorised by then President Goodluck Jonathan.
He argued that the prosecution failed to show that the services were not provided.
He added that the defendants were legitimately asked by Jonathan to carry out the security services and not a contract.
He said the prosecution erroneously stated in the charges that the defendants took the N400m from ONSA without any award of contract to justify the payment.
This, Ozioko said, contradicted the evidence of the prosecution’s third witness that the money was for security services not a contract.
Both Ozioko and Destra Investment’s lawyer, Onwugbufor, maintained that the ingredients of the offences were not proved.
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