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Court strikes out fresh N400m money laundering charge against Olisa Metuh



A federal high court in Abuja has struck out a money laundering charge preferred against Olisa Metuh, a former national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In a ruling delivered on Monday, Emeka Nwite, the presiding judge, held that the fresh charge by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) amounts to an abuse of the judicial process.

The EFCC had, in 2016, arraigned Metuh on seven counts of money laundering bordering on allegedly receiving N400 million from the office of the national security adviser.

Okon Abang, a federal high court judge, on February 25, 2020, pronounced Metuh guilty on all counts and sentenced him to seven years in prison.

Dissatisfied with the court’s decision, Metuh, through his counsel, filed an appeal in March 2020.

As part of the 10 issues raised for determination by the appellate court, Metuh argued that he was not given a fair trial.

He submitted that the trial judge was biased, citing some of the remarks made during the trial.

Delivering judgment on December 16, 2020, a three-member panel of justices agreed that the trial judge showed bias against the appellant.

Consequently, he was released from prison on December 24, 2020.

In line with the court of appeal order, Metuh’s case file was re-assigned to Emeka Nwite for the defendant to take a fresh plea.

The EFCC subsequently approached the supreme court to challenge the verdict of the court of appeal.

At the resumed court session, Metuh, through his lawyer, Afam Osigwe, challenged the legal propriety of the new charge against him and urged the court to strike it out.

But the EFCC, through its lawyer, Olanrewaju Adeola, prayed the court to adjourn the case indefinitely pending the outcome of the appeal.

Osigwe, however, asked the court to strike out the fresh charge filed by the EFCC.

“From issues set out at the supreme court, there is no way the matter will come back to this court,” he said.

“Their application is for the matter to either be returned to the court of appeal or for the matter to be heard by the supreme court.

“The appropriate action is for this court to strike out the matter, while the supreme court decides on the appeal before it.”

Tochukwu Onwugbufor, counsel representing Destra Investment Limited, Metuh’s company, aligned his submissions with Osigwe’s argument.

In his ruling, the judge noted that the EFCC ought not to have filed a fresh charge since its appeal against the appellate court’s decision is still pending at the supreme court.

“It is uncalled for… for the prosecution to bring a fresh charge when the other charge is still pending. The action is in gross abuse of the court process,” the judge said.

“Consequently, the charge is hereby struck out for constituting an abuse of the court process.”


FG to begin Lagos-Sagamu Long Bridge repairs on Monday




The federal government says repair of damaged sections on the Long Bridge, along the Lagos-Sagamu expressway, will commence on Monday.

In a statement on Friday, Olukorede Kesha, the federal controller of works in Lagos state, said the repair work on the bridge will end on March 25.

“The Federal Ministry of Works wishes to inform the motoring public that repair works for the damaged expansion joints on the Long Bridge will commence by Monday, 4th March 2024 simultaneously on both bounds of the bridge,” the statement reads.

“Consequently, traffic leaving and entering Lagos through the Long Bridge will be narrowed to two lanes on both sides of the bridge to enable the contractor handling the repair works to commence works on the other two lanes of the carriageways.

“Thus, all road users are advised to be patient and adhere to lane discipline on both approaches to the Long Bridge and around the narrowed sections on the bridge.”

Kesha said the earth road beside the Sagamu bound carriageway will be made motorable to serve as a complementary road.

She advised motorists to use alternative routes and cooperate with traffic management officials deployed to ensure hitch-free movements, in order to minimise discomfort during the duration of the repair works.

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Anambra among states with high drug abuse prevalence, says NDLEA




The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says Anambra is among states with high prevalence of drug abuse cases in the country.

Daniel Onyishi, Anambra state commander of the NDLEA, disclosed this on Friday when he led officers on a visit to Nonye Soludo, wife of the Anambra state governor, in Awka, the state capital.

Onyishi said the growing drug abuse cases in the country call for concern, adding that in 2018 alone, the agency intercepted 3.38 tons of drugs in Anambra state.

“According to statistics, Nigeria alone has 14.4 percent drug abuse prevalence rate, as against the global 5.5 percent world prevalence rate,” NAN quoted him as saying.

“One of the reasons for this visit is to formally welcome Mrs. Soludo as the chairperson of Anambra state drug control committee.

“This committee will be an action-driven crusade that will see to the complete elimination of drug use in Anambra state.”

Responding, the first lady said she was prepared to work with the agency and lead the ongoing fight against drug abuse in the state.

“These are scary statistics and we need a more sincere and committed approach to the war against drugs, beginning from identifying the producers of these deadly substances,” she said.

“Although my initiative, Healthy Living with Nonye Soludo, has been leading the drug elimination campaign in Anambra.

“But there is a great need for a united response in the face of what drug abuse is doing to the society, especially among our youths.

“I promise to work closely with the agency, advocate for a stronger community involvement in the fight and the need to follow up every case until justice is served.”

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Olu Agunloye files N1 billion suit against EFCC for declaring him wanted




Former Minister of Power and Steel, Dr Olu Agunloye, under ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s government, has lodged a lawsuit against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), demanding N1 billion. 

The lawsuit, filed under the case number FHC/ABJ/CS/167/2024 by Agunloye’s legal team led by Mr Adeola Adedipe, SAN, includes the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) as an additional defendant alongside the original filing. 

Currently, the lawsuit is being heard by Justice Emeka Nwite at the Federal High Court in Abuja, with the hearing date scheduled for April 18. 

The former minister Is seeking six forms of legal relief, one of which includes a statement affirming that the EFCC does not have the legal authority to use its discretionary powers or functions, as outlined in Sections 1(2)©, 6, 7, 13 of the EFCC Act, 2004, and similarly Section 4 of the Police Act 2020, to declare him wanted on its website or any similar platform. 

He, therefore, sought an order for the EFCC, its agents, privies, representatives and other related affiliates to forthwith remove his picture, name, references, details and or particulars from the wanted list published on its official website or any other related platform. 

He said,  “The EFCC and the AGF both jointly or severally, whether by themselves or their staff, from further declaring the plaintiff wanted about the particulars and subject matter of this suit, either on the EFCC official website, newspaper publication or any other related platform, except by a judicial intervention and recourse to all constitutional safeguards available to him in law and equity. 

“General damages of one billion naira (N1, 000, 000, 000 00) against the defendants, especially the 1st defendant cost of action.” 

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