A Federal Capital Territory, FCT High Court, Maitama, has fixed April 23, 2018 to rule on a “no-case” submission filed by a former spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Olisa Metuh, who is standing trial on a two-count charge bordering on “destruction of evidence”.
Metuh, who was first arraigned on January 21, 2016 before Justice Ishaq Bello had at the last sitting in October 2017 through his counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, argued that the EFCC did not establish a case against him.
He had allegedly tore page 3 of the statement he made during his interrogation while in the EFCC custody.
He was being interrogated for his link to a case of fraud involving the $2.1 billion arms deal scandal, involving the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, under Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd).
“The prosecution has not established any case to warrant the defendant to be called to enter his defence,” he said.
Ikpeazu, further argued, that his client had “a constitutional liberty”, such that he “could not be prosecuted where he either refused to make a statement or withdraw any part of his writing in the course of making a statement”.
“The defendant has a right to voluntarily cancel any part of his statement, and a piece of paper that was not signed does not qualify as a statement,” he added.
the application was in pursuant to the provisions of Sections 302 and 357 of ACJA.
He said that the defendant had a right to cancel any part of his statement voluntarily.
He reminded the court that the charge by EFCC was that Metuh destroyed his statement and obstruct the EFCC officials by willfully tearing his statement.
Ikpeazu added that a piece of paper not signed did not qualify as a statement by the defendant, and urged the court to discharge and acquit the defendant.
Prosecuting counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, however, argued that “cancellation is different from tearing, which is an obstruction”.
“I, therefore, urge the court to call upon the defendant to enter his defence,” he said.
The case was thereafter adjourned to March 7, 2018 for ruling on the application; but the court sitting did not hold thus necessitating the prosecuting and defence counsel to agree on the new date.