Thursday, June 1, 2023

Finally, Olisa Metuh’s fraud trial continues

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Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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Finally, the money laundering trial of Olisa Metuh, a former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, will continue on Tuesday after the court dismissed another attempt to truncate it.

The trial which has been on suspension for about six months is to resume Tuesday before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

The suspect had again filed another application stay of proceedings even after the Supreme Court ruled against such frivolities.

Justice Okon Abang on Monday fixed Tuesday for continuation of the trial after he dismissed Mr Metuh’s application for stay of proceedings in obedience to the June 9, 2017, ruling of the Supreme Court.

The judge, also in a separate ruling, dismissed another application seeking the release of the Metuh’s passport which is in the court’s custody.

The apex court, had in the said ruling, validated Section 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 which prohibits courts from entertaining such applications for stay of proceedings.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the trial had been put on hold due to interlocutory applications by Metuh since Dec. 16, 2016, when he called his sixth witness.

Justice Abang held that “the coast is now clear for the resumption of the trial that was suspended to abide by the outcome of the application dated March 17, 2017 to stay proceedings”.

“The application has been dismissed. In the light of this, the matter is adjourned until June 20, for further hearing of the first defendant’s case.”

The judge also dismissed another application seeking the release of Mr Metuh’s passport to enable him travel to the United Kingdom for medical treatment.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is prosecuting Mr Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited, on a seven-count charge bordering on fraud and money laundering.

The alleged offences involved the sums of 2million dollars and N400million which the defendants allegedly received from the Office of the National Security Adviser in 2014.


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