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Court rejects Metuh’s no-case submission

By Eric Ikhilae, Abuja


A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama, Abuja has rejected the no-case submission made by former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh in his trial for alleged destruction of evidence.

In a ruling on Thursday, Justice Ishaq Bello held that he was convinced that the prosecution has established a prima facie case against Metuh to warrant his being called to enter a defence.

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Justice Bello said, after reviewing arguments by parties, “the view of this court is that the application for a no-case submission is lacking in merit. It is hereby dismissed.”

The judge ordered Metuh to enter defence in respect of the prima facie case already established against him by the prosecution, led by Sylvanus Tahir.

The prosecuting agency – the Economic and Finance Crimes Commission (EFCC) had, in the charge marked: FCT/HC/CR/89C/2016, accused Metuh of destroying part of the statement he made to investigators while he was being investigated in relation to the alleged looting of funds meant for the purchase of arms and ammunition during the President Goodluck Jonathan administration.

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Part of the charge read: “That you, Olisa Metuh in January 2016 while in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, attempted to destroy evidence to prevent its production in court during trial contrary to Section 1 of the Panel Code. That you Olisa Metuh, with intent to cause damage to the property of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, tore into pieces statement you made under caution contrary to section 326 of the panel code and punishable under Section 327 of the same code.”

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The ruling delivered by Justice Bello on Thursday is coming over a year after parties made their final submissions in respect of the no-case submission.

The prosecution had closed its case on October 10, 2016 after calling two witnesses.

The defence, thereafter, made a no-case submission, in which he argued that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against him to warrant his being called to enter defence and prayed the court to dismiss the case.

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Parties adopted their written addresses in the no-case submission on January 31, 2018.

The judge then adjourned for ruling, which was not delivered after several adjournments, a development that prompted the prosecution to write the court last week, praying that a date be set for the case.

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