At the trial of the national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday, January 25 , A witness who claimed to have collected $2 million dollars from Olisa Metuh has been brought forward.
The witness, an employee of Asset and Resource Management Company Limited, Nneka Ararume told the court how she collecetd $2 million from the embattled Olisa Metuh
at his house in Prince and Princess Estate, Abuja on behalf of his company, Dextra Investments.
Ararume, who is a wealth manager with ARM, stated that Metuh gave her the money although she does not know how long it took Metuh to amass the money and instructed her to invest it. She said that on getting the money, she went ahead to change it using the services of 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.”
She further said that she does not know how long it took Metuh to amass the money while stating that he already ran an account with ARM before she started working for the company in April 2013.
The Cross Examination
The second prosecution witness was Esie, a Bureau De Change operator who brokered the the exchange of $1 to naira.
He told the court that Nneka called him on 2 December that she has $1m belonging to a client for sale and when he asked who she selling it for, she told him it was for a client.
He said he agreed with her at the rate of N183 to a dollar.
Esie said he called a bureau de change operator, Capital Field Investment in Lagos about the transaction and the company agreed to buy $500,000.
He added that the company transferred the sum of N46m and N45 million to the account of Dextra as the equivalent of the half of a million dollars.
The witness added that the remaining $500,000 was sold to one Etionye who transferred the sum of N92 million to the account of Dextra.
He added that a total of N183 million was transferred to the account of Dextra as naira equivalent of $1m.
Under cross examination, Esie agreed that the transaction is valid.
However, the trial was not without drama as the the presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang had to rule on two applications by lead defence counsel, Onyeachi Ikpeazu (SAN) to adjourn the trial.
In his first application before the commencement of the trial, the Defence Counsel had asked to adjourn the trial based on the application for variation of bail he had filed before the court.
Ikpeazu also told the judge that as Metuh has been unable to meet his bail conditions, an application for variation of the terms of the bail had been filed.
He urged the court to adjourn the case as Metuh’s inability to reach the bail terms had affected him negatively in the preparation of his defence.
The Sylvanus Tahir led prosecution’s objection to the application for adjournment was upheld by the judge.
Trial has been adjourned till tomorrow for the prosecution to call more witnesses with the prosecuting counsel having 16 more witnesses at its disposal.