EFCC to arraign Olisa Metuh on fresh ‘money laundering’ charges

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A federal high court in Abuja has fixed October 14 for the arraignment of Olisa Metuh, former national publicity secretary of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), over an alleged N400 million fraud.

The arraignment which was initially scheduled for Tuesday was adjourned following the absence of Obiora Egwuatu, the judge.All the parties in the matter, including Metuh, were present in court.The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had in 2016 arraigned Metuh on seven counts of money laundering for allegedly receiving N400 million from the office of the national security adviser.

Okon Abang, a federal high court judge, had on February 25, 2020, pronounced Metuh guilty on all counts of money laundering and sentenced him to seven years in prison.Dissatisfied with the court’s decision, Metuh through his counsel filed an appeal in March 2020.As part of the 10 issues raised for determination by the appellate court, Metuh argued that he was not given a fair trial.

He submitted that the trial judge was biased, citing some of the remarks he made during the trial.Delivering judgment on December 16, 2020, a three-member panel of justices agreed that the trial judge showed bias against the appellant.Stephen Adah, who read the court’s decision, had said: “The narrative of the trial judge suggest someone who didn’t enjoy trying the appellant and counsel because he said they were picking on him.“Learned trial judge showed in his comments, the influence of an abnormal desire all inclination to pursue a predetermined line of action against the appellant.

“This no doubt is an influence of bias against the appellant. There is no way the learned trial judge can be seen to be detached from the malice against the appellant in the case as alleged.”Consequently, he was released from prison on December 24, 2020.

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