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EFCC in court for contempt over Metuh’s press release

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‘Metuh’s lawyers complained that the EFCC issued a press statement but hid from the public certain facts established in court including acknowledgement by prosecution witness that Metuh never ate his statement.’

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] on Wednesday escaped a reprimand from a Federal High Court presided over by Justice Okon Abang, reports TheAuthority.

 EFCC had issued a press release on court proceedings on the trial of the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh.

The matter came up at the resumed hearing of the case of human rights abuse instituted by Chief Metuh against the EFCC for detaining him illegally for two weeks.

The EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren had in a statement on Tuesday issued a press statement on the appearance of one of its prosecution witness and officer in the commission, Detective Junaid Sa’id in the case against Chief Metuh, which Metuh’s lawyers insisted was one-sided and misrepresented the court.

Chief Metuh’s counsel, Adedipe (SAN), told Justice Abang that Chief Metuh is under trial by his court not by EFCC or the press. 

“It is your lordship that is trying Chief Metuh not the press or the EFCC”.

He then urged the court to take action to prevent the continued misrepresentation of court proceedings. “We should not justify what is not justifiable.

EFCC lawyer, Ugwu esq, transferred the blame to the press and said “I know the press, they have the penchant for sensationalism. 

“This is the problem we have in this country, they will hear what happen, go home and misinterpret”.

However, in his short ruling after hearing the two counsels, Justice Abang declined action, saying the issue should be brought up during the continuation of the criminal matter.

Metuh’s lawyers are complaining that the EFCC, a principal party in the case issued a press statement but hid from the public certain facts established in court including the acknowledgement by the prosecution witness, Junaid Sa’id, during cross examination that Chief Metuh never ate his statement while with the commission.

They are not happy that the EFCC statement did not reflect the fact that the prosecution witness also read out a section in the ONSA document wherein it was expressly stated that the N400m payment to Chief Metuh followed due process.

The EFCC operative had also stated that in the cause of his investigation, he did not come across any evidence that Chief Metuh had any personal relationship and/or direct dealings with the former NSA Sambo Dasuki.

Also he confirmed that he has no documentary and/or oral evidence to back his claim that Dasuki withdrew N10b and changed it into dollars and distributed to top PDP leaders during their national convention, as well as his claim that the $2m given to Nneka Ararume actually came from the sum allegedly withdrawn from Dasuki

Judge adjourned for ruling on March 7, 2016.


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