The National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, last Thursday challenged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to first interrogate former President Goodluck Jonathan before prosecuting him over the source of the N400m alleged to be part of monies meant for arms purchase.
Chief Onyechi Ikpeazu SAN, who led Metuh’s defence team for the charges he is facing at the Federal High Court in Abuja, argued that EFCC’s Prosecution Witness (PW5) evidence that presentation for which money was paid was made to Jonathan makes the investigation of his role as well as his evidence vital and indeed crucial without which no prima facie case can conceivably be said to have been made out.
“Dr. Jonathan, to whom the presentation was made for which the payment was made, is therefore a material and indispensible person in order for a prima facie case to be present. Where the prosecution failed to call such a vital witness, a strong presumption will arise that the evidence, if called, would be unfavourable to the prosecution.”
Metuh consequently filed a no case submission asking the court to discharge him of the seven- count money laundering charge preferred against him and his company, Destra Investment Limited, by the anti-graft agency. He argued that the EFCC has not established a prima facie case against him in line with Sections 302 and 357 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015 since the prosecution has not made such case against him and his company.
“In any case, the “mens rea’ of the defendants to the effect that former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd) committed a criminal offence cannot be inferred, but must be established by a competent evidence which must come from the prosecution.
“It is the case of Metuh that no evidence was laid out by the prosecution that N400 million was the proceed of alleged criminal conduct committed by Dasuki, adding that if anything, all the documents presented by the prosecution in the case only point out that the former NSA complied with due process and the contrary has not been pronounced by the court of competent jurisdiction.
“In this case, by the evidence of PW3 who works in the Office of the National Security Adviser [ONSA], the NSA is answerable to the then President Goodluck Jonathan only,” he stated.
While stressing that Section 15  [d] of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act requires the proof that the money must be proceed of an unlawful act, the PDP spokesman said: “In this case, it has not been established that the defendants knew that the ONSA engaged in any unlawful acts, adding that an unlawful act must be an act which is not authorised or approved and which has been found to be illegal.
“There was no evidence that the defendants were involved in any forged documents to create a contract where none was in fact, in existence. Pw8, the investigator was emphatic that he found no relationship of any kind between the defendants and Col. Sambo Dasuki.”