Alleged N400m Fraud: Court Adjourns Metuh’s Trial To May 16

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Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday, shifted trial of the embattled National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh to May 16.

The matter was adjourned to enable Metuh who was said to have fallen-off a swivel chair on Tuesday, to receive proper medical attention at the National Hospital in Abuja.

The PDP spokesman is answering to a seven-count criminal charge the Economic a Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, preferred against him and his company, Destra Investment Limited.

The defendants were alleged to have received N400million from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, prior to the 2015 general elections.

At the resumed sitting on the case on Wednesday, Metuh’s lead counsel, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, told the court that his client was hospitalised at the intensive case unit of the National Hospital in Abuja, even as he begged for the trial to be suspended for at least two weeks.

“My Lord we humbly apply for an adjournment to enable the 1st defendant who is currently on intensive care to go for his medications. We had to compel him to be physically present in court this morning”, Ikpeazu submitted.

Meanwhile, the application was not opposed by EFCC lawyer, Mr. Sylvanus Tahir.

“My Lord the news is in the public domain that the 1st defendant is in intensive unit. We shall not be opposing the application”, Tahir stated.

Consequently, Justice Abang adjourned the case till May 16, 17.

Before adjourning the case, Justice Abang ordered frail-looking Metuh who was present ‎in court to stand on his feet.

Though Metuh complied with the order, he however held his waist with both hands. It was reported that the PDP spokesman fell off a swivel chair as he came into the National Working Committee meeting hall at the party’s secretariat to witness the inauguration of the caretaker committees of the party in Borno and Kebbi states.

Metuh who reportedly entered the hall while the chairman of the party, Ali Modu Sheriff was already seated, made for a seat reserved for him, but fell to the floor as the swivel chair gave way.

He was said to have remained on the floor for about three minutes before two policemen came to his rescue and led him out of the hall.

Metuh was said to have earlier complained of waist pain.

EFCC had alleged that the N400m‎ that was traced to Metuh’s company account, ‎was part of about $2.1billion earmarked for the purchase of arms to prosecute the war against insurgency in the country.

It said the fund was electronically wired from an account ONSA operated with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to Metuh, via account no. 0040437573, which his firm operated with Diamond Bank Plc.
(Vanguard)

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