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Olisa Metuh cries out as EFCC ‘freezes’ his personal accounts

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FORMER National Publicity of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, says the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has frozen all his bank accounts rendering him unable to buy even water or medicine.

Metuh said this on Tuesday, during his ongoing corruption trial before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja. He said he got to know about the no-debit order placed on his account by the EFCC when he tried to carry out a transaction but could not.

He was testifying as a defence witness in the N400 million fraud suit brought against him by the EFCC, but suddenly digressed and started making complaints to the trial judge about his frozen accounts.

“The EFCC seized my accounts yesterday night and I can’t get money to feed my family. I am in total shock as I am here talking to you. I don’t even know what to say,” he said.

“They seized all my accounts in every bank in this country. As I am, I don’t have money to buy Panadol or water to drink.”

“They have alleged in this case that N400 million was stolen, why would they not limit it to that amount?

“I don’t know how I am going to feed my family? I don’t have access to any money at all. I am ready to end this case and submit myself to the judgment of this court.”

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The EFCC accused Metuh of receiving N400 million from the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, in 2014; money he ought to have known formed part of a corrupt activity.

He pointed out that the commission had frozen the accounts and other assets of his company, ‘Asset and Resource Management Company Limited’, through which he allegedly received the payment from Dasuki.

According to Metuh, the amount in his company’s account is more than the amount he was alleged to have received from the former NSA. He, therefore wondered why the EFCC has gone ahead to freeze his personal accounts, adding that he was ready to end the case and submit himself to the judgement of the court.

Metuh had in his testimony tendered print-outs of news reports of the press conferences he organised in 2015 in his capacity as the PDP spokesperson. He noted that most of the reports were critical of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Muhammadu Buhari administration, hence his eventual arrest and subsequent prosecution.

Justice Abang, in his ruling, said that the issue of the freezing of Metuh’s accounts was not part of the case before him. He advised Metuh and his lawyer to discuss the issue with the prosecuting counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, who was present in court.

Metuh’s corruption trial has been full of drama; his several applications to be allowed to travel abroad for medical treatment were rejected by Justice Abang. On one occasion, Metuh was brought to the courtroom on a stretcher after the trial judge threatened to revoke his bail if he continued to stay away from the hearing. On another occasion, Metuh ‘collapsed’ in court while trying to enter the accused person’s box.

The no-case-submission he filed after the EFCC had closed its case against him, was struck out, with the trial judge ordering him to open his defence.

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