The Federal Government via its anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday, January 25 presented two out of the 18 witnesses it lined up against the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olisa Metuh, in connection to the charges of money laundering involving the sum of N400m which he allegedly collected from the Office of the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki in November 2014.
The trial of the two witnesses commenced before a Federal High Court in Abuja after the presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang, overruled a request for an adjournment by Metuh’s lead counsel, Mr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), who had sought time to enable him and his team to have access to some documents and prepare better for the defence.
The first prosecution witness, Nneka Ararume [a wealth manager dealing in management of equities, fixed income instruments and real estate] said she collected the sum of $2million dollars from Mr. Metuh on December 2, 2014.
According to her, the money was changed into Nigerian currency and then transferred to Mr. Metuh’s account.
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The Punch Newspaper reports that Ararume, who was led in evidence by the lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Sylvanus Tahir, said on December 2, 2014, which was about 11 days after N400m was allegedly paid into Destra’s Diamond Bank account by the Office of the NSA on November 22, 2014, Metuh invited her to his home at Prince and Princess Estate in Abuja, asking her to come along with her companies brochure on different types of investments available.
She said, “Metuh gave me the sum of $2m in $100 bills. It was taken to bureau de change operators, who would then transfer the money to ARM. From there (Metuh’s house), I proceeded to Mr. Sie Iyenome’s office at Wuse 2, where I gave him the sum of $1m.
“I also invited Mr. Kabir Mohammed and I also gave him the sum of $1m to transfer the naira equivalent in favour of Destra Investment Limited.
“Later on the same day, December 2, 2014, Mr. Kabir and Mr. Sie Iyenome confirmed the receipt.”
The second witness, a bureau de change operator, said he had the sum of $1 million dollars exchanged to N183 million and transferred to the account of Dextra Investments Limited.
The judge in charge of the trial, Justice Abang adjourned further trial till today (January 26) with an instruction to the prosecution that all the prosecution witnesses must be present in court.
He fixed Wednesday for the hearing of Metuh’s bail variation application.
Metuh is currently on trial for allegedly collecting N400 million from Mr Dasuki’s office.