Embattled Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP chief Olisa Metuh has said that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission failed to establish the essential ingredients of the offences with which he was charged alongside his company, Destra Investments Limited.
In the no case submission filed by his team of lawyers led by Chief Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, Metuh said that the charges as constituted did not disclose a prima facie case against him.
Chief Metuh is charged with criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering for allegedly receiving N400million from the Office of the National Security Adviser. He pleaded not guilty to the offences.
However, after the prosecution closed its case, Metuh was called upon to enter his defence, he chose to raise a non case submission. If the no case submission succeeds the trial terminates there.
In count one of the seven-count charge, Metuh was charged with taking ‘possession of N400million paid into the account of Destra Investment Limited with Diamond Bank PLC Account No 0040437573 from the account of the ONSA with the Central Bank of Nigeria without contract award when you reasonably ought to have known that the said fund, formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful activity of Col Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd) the then National Security Adviser (To wit: criminal breach of trust and corruption) and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2),(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 20111 as amended in 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.”
Chief Metuh argued that for the prosecution to establish a prima facie case, it must be established that he took possession or control of funds, knowing that such funds formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act or reasonably ought to have known that such funds formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act.
According to him, there was no evidence by any witness that at the time the sum of N400m was paid into the account of his company, he was notified directly or indirectly that the said money was paid from the account of ONSA.
He also said that the prosecutor failed to lead evidence to show that the defendants were notified by ONSA that money was paid into their account by ONSA for whatever purpose.
Embattled Metuh said that following a presentation to the then former president, Goodluck Jonathan on how to shore up the image of the Peoples Democratic Party and inexorably Nigeria, he expected payment to execute the presentation but not from the ONSA.
He argued that the idea that he ought to know that the funds formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act did not arise.
He stated that EFCC admitted that he had no business dealing with the ONSA, no contract and wondered how the commission expected him to have known that funds paid to him was for Illegal purpose.
He said: “On yet another counter pane, section 15(2)(d) of the Act requires proof that the money must be proceeds of an unlawful act. In this case, it has not been established that the defendants knew that the ONSA engaged in any unlawful act. An unlawful act must be an act which is not authorised or approved and which has been found to be illegal.”
He said the EFCC failed to establish the unlawfulness of the act in question.
“Put another way, with respect to the issue of no case submission, that essential element of the offence (which is the unlawfulness of the act) must first be established against the persons who perpetrated it. The prosecution cannot put the cart before the horse, which is what they are doing in this case,” he added.
In his response, the prosecutor, Mr. Sylvanus Tahir disagreed with Metuh. He said that he led an overwhelming evidence against him and expressed surprise that he (Metuh) was raising a no case submission.
He said that EFCC received a complaint from the ONSA that money was paid under the immediate past National Security Adviser to individuals and companies without any document supporting such payments and that the commission investigated the petition.
According to him, a charge was filed against Metuh after a prima facie of money laundering was established against him.
He urged the court to dismiss the no case submission and ask the defendants to enter their defence, adding that they had an explanation to make.
The trial judge, Justice Abang Okon has fixed March 9 for ruling on the no case submission.

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