- Firm got payment for non-existing contract
The last is yet to be heard over the $2.1billion arms procurement scandals, as an official of the Office of the National Security Adviser, Mr. Bali Ndam, Tuesday narrated to a Federal High Court in Abuja the processes which led to the charges of money laundering and fraudulent receipt of the sum of N400million from the ONSA in November 2014, preferred against the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olisa Metuh.
Ndam, a Legal Adviser at the ONSA, who appeared before Justice Okon Abang as the third prosecution witness for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Tuesday said the incumbent NSA, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, sent a petition dated November 28, 2015 to the commission over “payment of contracts without award”.
Led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Sylvanus Tahir, the witness said “a list of companies and individuals about 78 in number” was attached to the NSA’s petition to the EFCC.
Ndam further said he could “vividly remember” that Metuh’s firm, Destra Investments Limited, with whom the PDP spokesperson is standing trial, was among the 78 beneficiaries of the allegedly fraudulent payment.
But an attempt by the prosecution to tender the petition and other documents, including the electronic mandate issued by the ONSA to the Controller of the Abuja branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria for payments in favour of the 78 beneficiaries, was opposed by the defence counsel, Mr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN.
The judge is currently writing his bench ruling on the objection raised by the defence against the admisibility of the documents.
Metuh, who has a pending application for variation of the conditions of bail granted him by the court, was also produced in court in handcuffs by prison officials on Tuesday.
The court has fixed tomorrow, Wednesday, for the hearing of the application for variation of the bail terms, which his lawyer said he had laboured unsuccessfully to meet.
The EFCC is prosecuting Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited, on seven counts of money laundering and fraudulent receipt of N400million meant for procurement of arms from the Office of the NSA on November 22, 2014, and used the funds allegedly for PDP’s campaign activities.
The prosecution alleged that the N400million from which Metuh was said to have given about N21million to a former Chairman, Board of Trustees of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, was “part of the proceeds of an unlawful activity” of the immediate past NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd).
The prosecution, led by Mr. Sylvanus Tahir, opened its case on Monday by calling two witnesses, an employee of a financial services firm, Asset and Resource Management Company Limited, Nneka Ararume, and a bureau de change operator, Sie Iyenome.
While Ararume testified on how she received a $2million cash from Metuh at his home in Abuja on December 2, 2014, Iyenome narrated to the court his role in converting the sum $1million part of the total sum of $2million.