Arms deal: One of Metuh’s sureties withdraws from case

One of the sureties to the the former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh on Monday approached a Federal High Court in Abuja with an application seeking to withdraw as a surety in the seven-count charge filed against Metuh by the Federal Government.
The surety, Dr. Olugbumi Usim-Wilson, in his application dated October 4, 2016, before Justice Okon Abang prayed the court to remove her name from the list of people that stood as sureties to the former PDP spokesman.
Usim-Wilson, however, did not give reasons for her withdrawal.
Metuh on his part also filed a motion dated October 14, 2016, praying  the court to allow him replace Usim-Wilson, with the deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.
When the matter came up for hearing yesterday, counsel to Usim-Wilson, Clement Chinaka, prayed the court to first of all take the application for withdrawal before taking that of replacement since it was filed before that of replacement.
Both counsel in the matter raised no objection, except for Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), representing Metuh who observed that, if the application for withdrawal is taken before that of replacement, Metuh may stand the risk of going back to prisons but however urged the court to use its discretion.
The trial Judge, Justice Okon Abang in a short ruling held that it is deserving to take Metuh’s application first since he has been consistent in the trial.
According to Justice Abang, “Usim-Wilson, in her application prayed the court to remove her name as a surety to Metuh, while that of Metuh sought to substitute her with Ike Ekweremadu.
“It is deserving to take that of Metuh first since he has been consistent in the trial. This is because if that of the applicant is taken first, it means that Metuh will be going back to prisons, but if we take that of Metuh first, the substitution would have taken effect” Justice Abang held.
The judge then adjourned the case to October 27, 2016 to hear all the applications and also for continuation of trial.
The former PDP spokesman, who is facing trial alongside his firm, Destra Investment Limited was alleged to have received N400 million from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), prior to the 2015 presidential election.
EFCC told the court that the N400 million, released to the defendants by the erstwhile NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki, (rtd),‎ ‎was part of the $2.1 billion earmarked for the purchase of arms to prosecute the war against insurgency in the North Eastern part of the country.
The anti-graft agency said the fund was electronically wired from an account ONSA operated with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to Metuh, via account No. 0040437573, which his firm operated with Diamond Bank Plc.
Recalled that the Court had earlier granted a N400 million bail to Metuh and that he must provide two sureties with N200 million each. The sureties, the court held must have properties in Maitama district of Abuja.
Metuh also submitted his international passport to the Registrar of the court as part of the conditions for his bail by the Federal High Court.