Ex-President Jonathan named in statement ‘torn’ by Metuh — EFCC

metuh

A staff of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has told a court that a written statement allegedly volunteered by the spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Olisa Metuh, was destroyed by Mr. Metuh partly because it made references to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Junaid Said told the court that Mr. Metuh admitted in the statement that he received N400 million arms money and used the sum for political activities and his personal needs, and made references to Mr. Jonathan.

The EFCC on Friday amended its charge of “destruction of evidence” against Mr. Metuh, the Peoples Democratic Party National Publicity Secretary.

The charge was amended at the resumption of the proceeding by the commission’s counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, at an FCT High Court presided over by Justice Ishaq Bello.

Mr. Tahir said the third-count of “Mischief” contravened Section 326 punishable under Section 327 of the Penal Code.

Testifying in the case, an EFCC witness, Junaid Said, told the court that Mr. Metuh tore the commission’s document.

Mr. Said, a Special Task Force Team member of EFCC, led in evidence by Mr. Tahir, said that the team received a petition in January 2016.

He said that the petition was from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, which alleged that he transferred N400 million to Destra Investment Limited, a company owned by Metuh.

The EFCC witness said investigations revealed that the transfer was done without any contract approval.

He said the team visited the resident of Mr. Metuh at Prince and Princess Estate, Abuja, on Jan. 5 and invited him to the commission.

Mr. Said told the court that Mr. Metuh honoured the invitation and was interrogated by Ibrahim Musa, Michael Wetkas, Bello Umar, David Nkpe, Bello Adama and Eucharia Ibrahim.

The EFCC witness said the defendant volunteered a statement to the commission.

“My Lord, when he concluded writing his statement which was on four sheets of the EFCC statement form, I collected the statement and read over it, I then handed the statement over to my superiors Musa and Wetkas.

“When I was handing over the statement, the defendant said he was surprised that he had written that much and that he felt he had given too much information.

“Because of the comment, I was worried I gave him the statement sheets one after the other for endorsement,’’ the witness said.

He said Mr. Metuh endorsed the first and second sheet, but tore the third sheet.

The witness told the court that the third sheet was where Mr. Metuh disclosed that he received the money for PDP political activities, settle his personal needs and made reference to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

“My lord, he suddenly tore the statement sheet into pieces, in great shock and surprise I stood up I asked him why he did what he did?

“He said he did that because he was no longer willing to give the information on that statement sheet.

“I then requested the pieces of the statement, he declined and attempted to put them in his pocket, I then cautioned him and told him to respect himself, he insisted that he was going to dispose the torn sheet.

“I persuaded him to handover the tore sheet and brought one plain paper before him, he poured the pieces on the plain sheet, my other colleagues were there looking at us in surprise as well.

“He furthered tore them into pieces, saying only in the movies would this be recovered.

“I poured the pieces in the commission’s transparent polythene bag for exhibit and made entry of the incident into the EFCC’s incident duty station diary as well as EFCC’s pocket notebook.

“Later, in the day he requested to make additional statement, which he made, wrote his name and signed but declined to make any other statement on the torn paper.’’

The EFCC’s incident duty station diary, EFCC’s pocket notebook and the tore pieces were tendered and admitted as exhibits.

Mr. Said admitted under cross examination by Onyechi Ikpeazu, Mr. Metuh’s counsel, that the issue of the torn sheet was not written in his statement.

Mr. Ikpeazu demanded for the witness statement, but the prosecuting counsel gave him a photocopy of the statement.

Mr. Tahir said the defendant should have served him with notice to produce the document.

Justice Bello said the matter could no longer proceed without the original copy of the witness statement.

“Documents must meet the status as required by the law, there must be a certified copy of your documents.

“It is a healthy practice to produce the documents in your custody, especially in a criminal trial,’’ the judge told EFCC before adjourning the case till March 16 for continuation.

(NAN)


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  • larry

    A better charge should have been destruction of public property. America should have charged him for destruction of public property as well – the piece of paper. The guy destroyed public property.

    • Gabriel Olasebikan

      Larry,even though i am not a lawyer, i see that the EFCC are jokers of the highest order. Yet you believe the statements were torn to shreds. Larry, even documents that a shredder is used to shred can be put back together.

      Nigerians are being fooled once again. What a shame.

      “He furthered tore them into pieces, saying only in the movies would this be recovered.

      “I poured the pieces in the commission’s transparent polythene bag
      for exhibit and made entry of the incident into the EFCC’s incident duty
      station diary as well as EFCC’s pocket notebook.

      “Later, in the day he requested to make additional statement, which
      he made, wrote his name and signed but declined to make any other
      statement on the torn paper.’’

      • Paul Young

        Not true. Paper shredder shreds in a fine line. Its very easy to re-align shredded paper. On the other hand if i tear a piece of paper with my hand i make sure i tear it to micro pieces, its almost impossible to put it back together. Besides you heard that the court admitted the torn pieces as evidence, so that sort of proves it is not a lie

        • Gabriel Olasebikan

          In this case,will the EFCC operative sit and watch an accused “tear a piece of paper with my hand i make sure i tear it to micro pieces,” and do nothing?

          What kind of thinking is this?

          • Paul Young

            So what should the EFCC operative do? Beat him or attack him. check your warped thinking before you talk about mine

        • Iskacountryman

          have you ever drafted a statement then tear it up because of genuine mistakes?…and even if metuh says johnathan gave him money?…where is the crime committed?

      • share Idea

        My gee, I told people that Buhari and EFCC think that we are still in the era of ‘Long John’ and Police Witness folklore. Before now, we were told by EFCC sources according APC’s friendly papers that Metuh was attempting to eat his statement and now, the statement was shredded into pieces.

        I don’t understand for the life of me how someone can write a statement with law enforcement agent, the officer of EFCC interrogating the person, take the statement away and later come back for the person to sign it. The only plausible explanation for this is that EFCC inserted other statements to the ones made by Metuh and he was asked to sign same which would have prompted him to tear out the part of the addition and agreed to rewrite torn out area that did not contain inserted EFCC statements. Nigeria we hail thee

        • Paul Graham

          Dear Sir. It is impossible to admit into evidence doctored documents. So the idea that EFCC inserted stuff is not likely. People do stuff when cornered. Mind you until its proven by the court that he never tore his statement he stays accused.

        • Paul Young

          You are making up stories

    • uduakomiri

      A charge of destruction of public property would most likely be thrown out by the court. If you want to convince a court that Metuh stole hundreds of millions of naira, it would amount to a waste of the courts time to also add the tearing of a piece of paper as destruction of property. Besides, the case against Metuh doesn’t rely on the evidence in his statement but rather the funds which Dasuki transferred to him, and which EFCC already has a trail of evidence to prove that Metuh received part of the stolen funds from the $2.1 bn arms scandal. EFCC should learn to be precise in its charges. Going to court on a 49 or 103 count charge in a single case ( not in Metuh’s case but in previous cases, a practise that is still all too common in EFCC cases) merely tells the court that the agency is playing to the gallery. The problem with cramming a charge sheet with all manners of charges is that the court is most likely to be suspicious of that sort of approach. Keeping charges clean with the view of pressing only the charges that have greater probabilities of conviction should be the primary purpose of EFCC legal teams. Again, the agency needs to set-up a purpose built crack team of legal team made up mainly of a mix of experienced and freshly qualified, high-flying, smart barristers, solicitors, retired or trained judges who currently do not sit on the bench. I expect to see the EFCC going round Nigerian law schools to advertise and conduct open day events so that the can interact with law students, and at the same time open up channels to attract the best of the best who must also be principled and incorruptible. One could establish as fact, that EFCC is the foremost financial crime busting agency in Nigeria and potentially one of the best in Africa if not the world. However, the EFCC has a number of weaknesses: the biggest of these is that its legal teams are as unprofessional as they are incapable. Secondly, EFCC requires a highly skilled legal team that operates in-house, and which could also serve as a quasi-legal consultancy to government agencies in the country and possibly private firms who would like expertise and advice on how to prevent or combat financial crimes in their organisations from the legal standpoint. Thirdly, it is widely known that many of the lawyers on the EFCC legal teams are compromised because of a number of reasons such as the fact that the regulatory framework for legal practice in Nigeria as per the NBA and judicial Councils are almost zero as such there are high levels of unprofessional and unethical conduct amongst legal practitioners in the country. In addition, the EFCC appears to engage lawyers at random, and many of the lawyers in its employment do not show any commitment to winning the cases, in fact many of them appears to want to deliberately lose the cases. So it is possible that the EFCC should look at its legal engagement processes, and change it to a rating system where lawyers are engaged based on the ratings which they gather from successfully prosecuting cases. Another option is to operate a no-win no-fee basis, or a commission only-basis, or even a probationary engagement scheme where lawyers are engaged on a ‘pay-as-you win’ basis within a system of ‘trial basis’ over a specified period in which the contract of engagement is extended or renewed solely based on successful convictions. Whichever measure that is adopted should be regarded by the EFCC as temporary until it builds an in-house top of the range legal team made up of the best young/experienced Nigerian legal practitioners alive. Recruitment to its legal team should follow the routes of the toughest psychometric tests in the world akin to the sort of selection tests used by Ivy league universities, and blue-chip multinationals such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple.
      EFCC should be fashioned into the best Nigerian institution. It is only then would we say we can comfortably challenge corrupt Nigerians. As for the moment, it is merely fly-by-wire kind of stuff!

      • Iskacountryman

        my son…the efcc is not interested in winning cases…they want to shake the tree of corruption and live off the fruits,,,

      • Fred Duke

        I agree completely. until these happen, we’ll be running in circles.

    • Iskacountryman

      sharrap can you write a one page statement without canceling and throwing the paper away?…

  • Paul Young

    Interesting. Why wont this guy just return the money and make a deal to avoid possible jail time. Some people will reply with comments like what about amaechi and thiefnubu. Whilst I dont deny the fact that there is an apparent bias in the corruption fight but the fact is that there is nobody currently being prosecuted who didnt illegally receive stolen funds one way or the other. which is a CRIME

    • ’70

      That’s absolutely correct!

    • Julius

      Respect !

    • Julius

      Respect

  • Rommel

    That torn paper can be reassembled in one day by many people because he could not have torn it into 1000 pieces,there are softwares that could even do it with maximum ease

    • Gabriel Olasebikan

      Even shredded paper can be put together. EFCC are just rogues.

    • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

      If it was yet to be signed by Metuh,it remains a worthless piece of paper. It is not yet a legal document until signed. Metuh will walk on this charge because that piece of paper is at it’s best an unfinished statement which metuh still reserved the right to revise or discard and start afresh.

      • Rommel

        If what you say is true,why then did he go to that extent to shred it if it was that worthless? I believe he is a lawyer,even went as far as saying that it was only in movies that they could put it back together

        • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

          As long as a statement is unfinished,the writer has the right to change it or even discard it totally for a new one and a suspect may want to sign a statement only after his lawyer has gone through it. The piece of paper destroyed will be immaterial in any case.

      • Julius

        A
        gain Tawanda, stop talking about what you know nothing about. Let me repeat what I told you before. It is a government property, signed or not, he cant destroy it. It is illegal. period ! Why do you think he is being prosecuted for it and the Judge hasnt toss it out ?

        • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

          Willful damage of property ? You will have to prove that someone destroying a piece of paper deserves the time of the court,it will be thrown out,there is no recorded evidence of this by video. The only witnesses are the “biased” EFCC staff. it is their word against that of Metuh.

          • Julius

            Come to the U S, get a traffic ticket and tear it up in front of the cop that gave it to you to sign . See where your butt will be for the night if you dont have a lawyer quickly.Stop defending criminals/ thieves !

          • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

            A traffic ticket is an official legal document “signed” by the issuing officer who is a representative of the state.

          • kevenreal

            Stop wasting your time on that lunatic Julius. I am shocked he implied he lives in the U.S.

          • Julius

            lol@implied. No, I live in owerri. Dumb ass !

          • kevenreal

            You simply don’t sound like someone exposed to the ways of the western world. Your are arguments are incoherent and lack dept. You have allowed your ethnic sentiments to becloud good judgement true analysis of the situation. We all want every corrupt official to go to jail, not through some corrupt procedure which cannot stand the test of time.

          • Julius

            Oh, my bad. I forgot Methu brought his own paper to the investigation room. By the way, who do you think the EFCC representing ? Hint: They are law enforcement officers representing the state..Nigeria.

          • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

            You are not on the level,the ticket you cited is a legal document while the piece of paper torn by Metuh cannot be described as such. The issuing officer will have to sign a ticket before it becomes a legal document….do you get it ?

        • Fred Duke

          It is a govt property that Worth’s nothing until signed. What is duress? When u write what u’re not ready to signed bcos they forced u to write. W
          That is the value. Worthless. What was the agent doing when. The rogue Started tearing the statement? he started to beg him not to tear? These Lamorde (PDP) boys in efcc shd be posted out. remember, before u were employed in etc c, u must have known one big politician who put you there. Buhari doesn’t knowthis probably.

          • Julius

            I hope you are on Methus legal team !

          • Fred Duke

            Nope I’m not. I want the thief jailed for life. Actually. They stole us dry.

          • Julius

            Good, we are on the same team then. Respect !

  • uduakomiri

    The EFCC should do what most police stations in the world do, install discreet audio and video equipment in all its interview rooms. This is very important because nothing surpasses technology as a crime fighting tool especially where such technologies are used to produce verifiable evidence. Again for the purposes of accountability, the watchman needs to be watched too lest the watchman resort to the same habits that corrupt people are accused of. So live video and audio feeds in EFCC interview rooms, and public areas are necessary and have become very urgent to prevent dodgy practices by the agency’s operatives, as well as to show that the EFCC adheres to laid down rules. While I staunchly support EFCC, the agency must be shown to be above board, it must adhere to the rules. Extracting a confession or evidence under duress will certainly not stand up to scrutiny in court so EFCC operatives should be aware that they are dealing with corrupt people who have the means and resources to destroy even the most plausible oversight in EFCC case, these people have the best legal advise in the country and as such could punch a massive hole in the EFCC evidence and thus destroy the case. EFCC should not give people like Metuh the opportunity to walk scot free! I cannot for the life of me understand how any prosecutor could expect a judge to accept evidence as reliable without producing the original copy. The charge of destruction of evidence which EFCC deposed in an affidavit relies on evidence contained in Metuh’s statement. That statement is a critical piece of evidence in convincing the court to agree with the EFCC’s argument that the defendant, Metuh was trying to destroy evidence, and evade justice.
    I just can’t understand the people EFCC puts in charge of these cases. Seriously, if you pluck a molue bus conductor from the streets of Lagos, or any street in Nigeria for that matter and give him some legal training for a week, they would certainly perform better than all these halfwits that prosecute EFCC cases. In fact, take a freshly qualified barrister who knows his/her profession, give them a months coaching in dealing with EFCC’s cases, they will most certainly achieve 100 percent conviction rate! Most EFCC cases are loaded with overwhelming evidence of financial corruption against the defendants that it is simply impossible to blow such cases. Even a sokoto he-goat could successfully prosecute this case against Metuh without even baiting an eyelid!

    • MC

      Shay u remember say na Nigeria police dem sef be? If they put audio and video equipment in all their interview rooms, then their corrupt practices and inhuman treatment of suspects via torture, obtaining of information via duress would be recorded.

    • Chuks

      Its not only the judges that collect bribe to bundle up cases, EFCC operatives and contracted lawyers also do the same. Which Nigerian lawyer would not accept N50 million to se Metuh free on technicalities?. Employment and tax laws and job contracts stipulates that you declare any extra income to your employer and tax authorities. Metuh did none of the that and surely did not pay tax on the N400 million he received from NSA. Even Tax and Revenue office alone can prosecute and jail him but EFCC with lawyers like Kayemo, I wonder…

    • Fred Duke

      You’re very correct. For reasons we don’t know, Efcc maintains one of the weakest, sloppiest and most clueless prosecution teams in the world. Later, they turn Around and blame the judiciary. These efcc lawyers are either very corrupt or grossly incompetent.

  • FreeNigeria

    EFCC is still using Lord Luggard interrogation technique and facilities in 2016

  • Ebaah Odibo

    From what I’m reading in the papers, EFCC is prosecuting this case sloppily. I hope what I’m reading does not capture the whole soul of the prosecution’s case. If it does, then EFCC will definitely lose this case, and these corrupt politicians would walk home free. Then EFCC will blame the judiciary instead of their lack of tight prosecution.

  • MC

    EFCC: “Mr. Metuh honoured the invitation and was interrogated by Ibrahim Musa, Michael Wetkas, Bello Umar, David Nkpe, Bello Adama and Eucharia Ibrahim.”

    MC: The reason for non inclusion of an Igbo in the above team is glaringly obvious!

    EFCC: “I poured the pieces in the commission’s transparent polythene bag for exhibit and made entry of the incident into the EFCC’s incident duty station diary as well as EFCC’s pocket notebook”.

    MC: Someone wrote an unsigned document, deemed it unnecessary, destroyed it and it’s now a big case!? Oya gum the pieces together na and show us the Goodluck Jonathan’s involvement abeg! Fools! Make una come arrest me too na.

  • Tim

    I haven’t see any thief that is not a liar. How could people that looted Nigeria dry talk true. That expectation on such greedy and wicked people is too high.

  • GbemigaO

    So what is this issue with the torn statement ? If you have proof that he collected money from Dasuki without a contract, why not focus on that case instead of wasting time on a statement that has no relevance to convicting him. Do you want to convict hi shedding your papers . I wonder which judge will sentence him for more than a day for that. Not even sure whether that is an offence as I can write statement and tear it as wrong when I have not signed it. A statement that is unsigned is not a statement admissible in court. Why waste time seeking conviction on an unsigned and torn statement

    • Soja

      Note. This is not the original case. This is another case filedagainst Methu for destruction of evidence

    • Soja

      NB: This is not the 400 million naira case. This is a separate case of destruction of evidence filed against Methu.

  • Genusa

    I don’t just that this EFCC. You should have your own evidences and witnesses to prosecute this case. All evidences are now on the statement that was torn and that not yet signed?.

    • Soja

      NB: This is not the 400 million naira case. This is a separate case of destruction of evidence filed against Olisah Methu

      • GbemigaO

        Sir . Got your point . Nevertheless you will agree with me that in the scale of the monumental corruption cases that have been discovered and yet to uncover , chasing someone on torn statement is clearly misplaced priority !

        • Julius

          Really ? Unlawful act is unlawful act period.

    • Julius

      Yes, he can re-write his statement but, he cant tear up the paper the government gave him. Its a government property and you can do that. Its against the law. Methu , as a lawyer should have known that.

  • efcc don come again ooh

    If with Corruption:under Jonathan • Dollar was 180 and without Corruption under the Luciferic rule of Buhari, Dollar is now 425 • Rice was N8,500 and without corruption it is now N12,500 • Pampers was N1,450 and without corruption it is now N1,850 • Petrol was N87 and available; without corruption it is now N120 and scarce • Garri was N250, without corruption it is now N500 • Transportation was N500 Lagos – Ibadan, without corruption it is now N800 • Poor Electricity, tariff was not increased during corruption, now about 40% tariff increase without corruption but worst power supply • Presidency Food was N1billion, but without corruption it is now N2billion • Presidential Jets maintenance was N600/ year, now N2.5billion in just 4 months without corruption • Aso Rock Clinic maintenance was N500million, now N3.9billion without corruption. • Vice President was paid N75million for reading just books; without corruption the Vice President will be paid N430million • We didn’t pay rent in Aso Rock; without corruption we will be paying a rent of N350million to an invisible landlord. • Rats never ate our budgets, but rats now snuggle fictitious unimaginable figures into our budgets without corruption Brother and Sisters, you will agree with me that one way or the other, we need corruption in this country via Jonathan -before APC kills Nigeria with their own brand of packaging corruption! Open your brains, not all dogs are straight! # For under Jonathan” the Hips of our women never told us lies–He had respect for the Rule Of law–But now it is total disregard for court orders-The armed forces now send their personnel to be detained by Efcc—–The Nigerian Bar Association ati the Judiciary are being treated like motor park touts—-by Buhari via Efcc—-what a country– what a shame—-

  • ORIGINAL CONSCIENCE

    EFCC staff have mediocre spirit. They are lazy and unqualified for this job. Unfit for purpose.

    • Invitro

      @disqus_dpbcFQMHY3:disqus

      Matters Arising……….

      This EFCC operative as witness is probably incompetent
      and should be referred to the SSS for investigation grills to
      determine the extent of his conspiracy with Olisa Metuh. He said he stood by
      as a law enforcement agent, expressed surprise, but did nothing, whilst an accused
      person was destroying evidence in his presence – not once but twice. If this EFCC
      operative as witness is not found complicit, then, he may be dismissed from service
      for negligence all the same.

    • Julius

      They will still be unfit when Methu is sentenced to jail.

  • Mizch

    A principal once expelled a student who went to the wastepaper bin to pick up torn papers he, the principal threw away and reassembled them and divulged the information therein. Was the principal right under any law? Or was the student a criminal? Could someone kindly help.

  • Olukayode A.

    @malchine:disqus

    I AM NOT SURE HOW THE EFCC intends to prove this case without obtaining statements from Goodluck Jonathan.
    But wonders never end. It will be interesting to see the EFCC pull a rabbit out of the hat on this case. I am surprised
    though that after 13 years in existence EFCC has not mastered certain procedures. Or perhaps not so much miffed
    as disappointed. Afterall, is the past EFCC Chairman not himself a criminal accused for stealing, according to court
    indictment? An organization hitherto led by a THIEF as depicted on court records could not ever have mastered any
    skill required to eke out its efficiency in any other matter other than STEALING. Now, the EFCC has its cut out for it.

  • oluks

    @malchine:disqus

    I AM NOT SURE HOW THE EFCC intends to prove this case without obtaining statements from Goodluck Jonathan.
    But wonders never end. It will be interesting to see the EFCC pull a rabbit out of the hat on this case. I am surprised
    though that after 13 years in existence EFCC has not mastered certain procedures. Or perhaps not so much miffed
    as disappointed. Afterall, is the past EFCC Chairman not himself a criminal accused for stealing, according to court
    indictment? An organization hitherto led by a THIEF as depicted on court records could not ever have mastered any
    skill required to eke out its efficiency in any other matter other than STEALING. Now, the EFCC has its work cut out.

  • Phil Smart

    NO CASE WHATSOEVER…. A STATEMENT IS A VOLUNTARY PRESENTATION AND NO ONE SHOULD DECIDE FOR ANOTHER WHAT HE WISHES TO PRESENT, WHICH BECOMES VALID ONLY AFTER SIGNATURE.. A STATEMENT SHOULD NOT BE PRODUCED UNDER DURESS…