Lady Pictured is alleged to be Nneka Araraume who Metuh gave money to change
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday called two out of the 18 witnesses it lined up against the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olisa Metuh, with respect to the charges of money laundering involving the sum of N400m which he allegedly collected from the Office of the National Security Adviser in November 2014.
The trial commenced before a Federal High Court in Abuja after the presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang, overruled a request for an adjournment by Metuh’s lead counsel, Mr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), who had sought time to enable him and his team to have access to some documents and prepare better for the defence.
The ruling by Justice Abang, dismissing the request for adjournment, paved the way for the prosecution to call its first witness, Nneka Ararume, an employee of Asset and Resource Management Company Limited, who narrated how Metuh gave her $2m cash at his house in Prince and Princess Estate, Abuja.
Ararume, who described his position at ARM as Wealth Manager, said she collected the cash from Metuh on December 2, 2014, with an instruction to invest the money on behalf of the PDP spokesperson’s company, Destra Investments Limited.
She said ARM had been managing Destra’s funds before she joined the financial services company in April, 2013.
Ararume, who said she managed Destra Investments Limited’s funds with ARM, explained that she proceeded to change the $2m, which she collected from Metuh, to its naira equivalent through two bureau de change operators.
Ararume, who was led in evidence by Tahir, said on December 2, 2014, which was about 11 days after N400m was allegedly paid into Destra’s Diamond Bank account by the Office of the NSA on November 22, 2014, Metuh invited her to his home at Prince and Princess Estate in Abuja, asking her to come along with her companies brochure on different types of investments available.
She said, “Metuh gave me the sum of $2m in $100 bills. It was taken to bureau de change operators, who would then transfer the money to ARM. From there (Metuh’s house), I proceeded to Mr. Sie Iyenome’s office at Wuse 2, where I gave him the sum of $1m.
“I also invited Mr. Kabir Mohammed and I also gave him the sum of $1m to transfer the naira equivalent in favour of Destra Investment Limited.
“Later on the same day, December 2, 2014, Mr. Kabir and Mr. Sie Iyenome confirmed the receipt.”