The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday opened its case with two witnesses against the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olisa Metuh, in the charges of money laundering involving the sum of N400m which he allegedly collected from the Office of the National Security Adviser in November 2014.
The trial commenced before a Federal High Court in Abuja after the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, overruled objection by Metuh’s lead counsel, Mr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) to adjourn the trial.
Ikpeazu also informed the judge on Monday that since Metuh had been unable to meet the bail conditions granted him on January 16, the defence had filed an application for variation of the terms.
He urged the court to adjourn the proceedings as the inability of his client to meet the bail conditions had adverse effect on his preparation for the defense.
The prosecution led by Mr. Sylvanus Tahir, opposed the application for adjournment and his objection was upheld by the judge.
Tahir then proceeded to open the prosecution’s case on Monday with the testimony of an employee of Asset and Resource Management Company Limited, Nneka Ararume, who narrated how he collected a total sum of $2m cash from Metuh at his house in Prince and Princess Estate, Abuja.
Ararume who described her position with the company as Wealth Manager, said the instruction given to her by Metuh was that the money should be invested.
She explained further that she went ahead to change the money to its naira equivalent through two bureau de change operators she engaged.
She said, “He 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 prosecution also called Iyenome as its second prosecution witness, who also narrated how he changed the $1m to its naira equivalent and paid it to ARM.
Both witnesses were cross-examined by the defence counsel.
Trial has been adjourned till tomorrow for the prosecution to call more witnesses.
The prosecuting counsel said he had 16 more witnesses.