By Ikechukwu Nnochiri,
ABUJA — Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has slated March 9 to determine whether or not the National Publicity Secretary of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, has a criminal case to answer over alleged role he played in the alleged illegal diversion of funds meant for the procurement of arms.
Justice Okon fixed the date after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and Metuh, who is answering to a seven-count money laundering charge, adopted their briefs of arguments on the no-case-submission filed by the defendant.
While adjourning the matter, yesterday, Justice Okon said he would on the next date either deliver ruling or judgement on the case.
He said: “If the no-case-submission succeeds, this court will deliver judgement by striking out the charge and discharging the defendant.
“However, in the event that the application fails, this court will deliver ruling by directing the defendant to immediately proceed with his defence. This case is, therefore, adjourned to March 9 for either ruling or judgement as the case may be.”
Court throws out N100m suit against EFCC
In a related development, Justice Abang also, yesterday, struck out a N100 million suit that Metuh lodged against the EFCC over alleged “gross violation of his fundamental rights,” while he was in detention.
Metuh had in his fundamental right enforcement suit marked FJC/ABJ/CS/20/2016, prayed the court to aside awarding him damages, also compel the anti-graft agency to publicly tender an apology to him.
Aside the EFCC, other respondents in the suit were the Attorney General of the Federation; the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC; Inspector General of Police; Department of State Services and the Nigerian Immigration Services.
Justice Abang struck out the matter following the absence of either Metuh or his lawyers in court at the time the case was called up for hearing.
More so, the court ordered Metuh to pay a cost of N20,000 each to the AGF, EFCC, IGP and the Nigerian Immigration Services.
Similarly, Metuh, will today, take fresh plea before an Abuja High Court sitting at Maitama over his alleged “unruly” conduct while undergoing interrogation.