The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has maintained that it does not require former President Goodluck Jonathan as its witness in order to prove its money laundering case against the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Olisa Metuh.
It will be recalled, the PDP spokesman had on Monday told the Federal High Court in Abuja that the anti-graft agency cannot prosecute him without interrogating Dr. Jonathan regarding the source of the N400 million alleged to be part of arms purchase funds.
Metuh, who filed the no-case submission through his lead counsel, Mr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, contended that the prosecution could never have been able to make any case against him without the EFCC calling Jonathan as a witness in view of the testimony by PW5 (fifth prosecution witness).
However, on Tuesday, the EFCC, in its response, urged the court to dismiss the no-case submission, insisting that Jonathan was not needed to prove its case.
It stated, “My Lord, in paragraphs 2.22 to 2.25, the defence also contends that the prosecution, through PW8 (EFCC’s investigative officer, Junaid Sa’id) failed to investigate the statement of the 1st defendant (Metuh) to the effect that presentation was made to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and that the sum for the exercise was paid into the 2nd defendant’s account (Metuh’s firm, Destra).
“It is further contended that the former President, to whom the presentation was made for which the payment was made, is therefore a material and indispensable person in order for a prima facie case to be established.
“Learned senior counsel (Metuh’s lawyer) therefore alleged presumption of withholding of evidence by the prosecution.
“In response to the above argument my lord, we submit that nothing can be farther from the truth. The defence cannot pick and choose witnesses for the prosecution and as rightly pointed out by the defence, the prosecution is not required to call a host of witnesses or a particular witness in proof of its case.
“What the law requires the prosecution to do is to call material witness(es) in proof of its case.”
The EFCC is prosecuting Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited, on seven counts charges of fraudulently receiving the sum of N400m meant for the procurement of arms from the Office of the National Security Adviser in November 2014, as well as the laundering of an amount involving $2m cash transaction.
In the meantime, the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, fixed Thursday to entertain argument for and against the no-case submission.