The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has convicted a former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisah Metuh, and his firm, Destra Investments Limited, of the first of the seven counts instituted against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Justice Okon Abang, while delivering a ruling on the first count in his judgement ruled that a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, unlawfully transferred the sum of N400 million to the defendants in November 2014, The PUNCH reports.
The anti-graft agency charged Metuh, who is standing trial alongside his company, Destra investment, with seven counts bordering on criminal diversion of the money received from the office of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
Justice Abang convicted the former PDP spokesman of count one of the charges.
“It is my view that Metuh took possession of the N400 million from the office of the NSA without contractual agreement; he is guilty of money laundering and is hereby convicted on count one.”
The judge ruled that Metuh and his firm reasonably ought to have known that the sum of N400 million paid to them formed part of the proceeds of the unlawful activity of the ex-NSA because they had no form of a contractual relationship with the ONSA.
According to the judge, Dasuki transferred the money to the defendants “in breach of public trust”.
He dismissed the contention of the defence who argued that the defendants could not be convicted for the money laundering offence because Dasuki, who is currently being prosecuted, had yet to be convicted for the predicate offence of breach of trust and corruption.
The judge said, contrary to the argument, “the predicate offence and the money laundering offence are intertwined”.
“The success or failure of the predicate offence does not determine the success or failures of the money laundering offence,” the judge added.
More to follow.