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Metuh may spend two years in jail for destroying evidence
Metuh in court yesterday

Metuh may spend two years in jail for destroying evidence

Just two days after he was granted bail for allegedly stealing N400million, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spokesperson Olisa Metuh was arraigned yesterday before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, for allegedly destroying the statement he made to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC) operatives. And if found guilty, he may be slammed with the maximum sentence of 2 years jail term!

He was arraigned before Justice Ishaq Bello on a two-count charge. The PDP spokesman pleaded not guilty, following which the judge ordered that he be remanded in Kuje prison.

Count one of the charge filed on January 18 reads: “Statement of offence: Destruction of document to prevent its production as evidence, punishable under Section 166 of the Penal Code CAP 532 LFN, Abuja (2004).

“Particular of offence: Olisa Metuh, on the 5th day of January 2016 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, destroyed the document, to wit: a statement made under caution to investigators/operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on January 5, 2016 with the intention of preventing the same from being produced or used as evidence in a court of law.

Count two reads: “Statement of office: Mischief contrary to Section 326 and punishable under Section 327 of the Penal Code CAP 532 LFN, Abuja (2004). Particular of offence: Olisa Metuh, on the 5th day of January 2016 within the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), with intent to cause wrongful loss or damage to the property of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), committed mischief by destroying/tearing into pieces a statement you made under caution to investigations/investigative of the EFCC.”

The offence is said to be punishable under Section 166 of the Penal Code Cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, (Abuja) 2004.

Shortly after Metuh pleaded not guilty, prosecution lawyer, Sylvanus Tahir, urged the court to fix a date for trial.

Metuh’s lawyer Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) prayed the court to grant the accused bail, taking into consideration the punishment, which does not exceed two years.

Justice Bello, while ordering Metuh to be remanded in prison custody, adjourned the matter to January 25, 2016, for hearing on the bail application.

Earlier, the judge questioned the rationale behind separating this charge from the earlier one before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Justice Bello noted that since the alleged attempt to destroy evidence flowed directly from the case before the Federal High Court, it would have been proper and reasonable to accommodate the new charge in the pending one.

In his response, Tahir said the fresh charge was brought under a different law, the Penal Code as against the Money Laundering Act, under which the older charge was brought.

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