A new twist may have been added to the destruction of evidence suit brought against the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, as a staff of the anti-graft agency told an FCT High Court that a written statement volunteered by the spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Olisa Metuh, was destroyed by Mr. Metuh out of fear former President Goodluck Jonathan.
According to the EFCC operative, Metuh had
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.
Also on Friday, the EFCC amended the charge of “destruction of evidence” against Metuh, as the EFCC prosecutor, said the third-count of “Mischief” contravened Section 326 punishable under Section 327 of the Penal Code.
Testifying in the case, the EFCC operative, Junaid Said, told the court Metuh tore the commission’s document.
“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 and I gave him the statement sheets one after the other for endorsement,’’ the witness said.
According to Said, after Metuh endorsed the first and second sheet, but tore the third sheet, adding that the page he tore was the one where he wrote 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.’’
Said however admitted, when he was cross examined by Onyechi Ikpeazu, Metuh’s counsel, that the issue of the torn sheet was not written in his statement.
When Ikpeazu demanded for the witness statement, he was given a photocopy of the statement by the prosecution counsel, on the ground that he was served with a notice that the document was needed.
The trial Judge Justice Ishaq Bello, however ruled that 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.
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