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Published On: Tue, Apr 24th, 2018

Destruction of evidence: Court rules on Metuh’s no case submission May 31

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MetuhBy Vivian Okejeme Abuja

Justice Issaq Bello of a federal capital territory high court Maitama, yesterday, slated May 31, for ruling on the no-case submission filed the embattled former Spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, on the accusation if destruction of evidence.
The no-case submission which was on the last adjourned date slated to be decided yesterday,was adjourned until May 31, with consent of all counsel as the court did not sit on the matter.
All the counsels in the matter including the defendant were all present in court.
The prosecution agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is trying Metuh on a two-count charge bordering on alleged destruction of evidence.
On October 10, 2017, counsel to the Defendant, Onyechi Ikpeazu SAN, brought to the notice of court the defence intention to enter a no-case submission at the close of the prosecution’s case.
Arguing the no-case submission, Mr Ikpeazu had told the court that the prosecution had not established any case to warrant the defendant to be called to enter his defence.
Premising the application on provisions of Sections 302 and 357 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, Onyechi added that the defendant had a constitutional liberty and could not be prosecuted where he either refused to make a statement or withdraw any part of his writing in the course of making a statement.
Going further, he added that the defendant had a right to cancel any part of his statement voluntarily.
Therefore, he reminded the court that the charge by EFCC was that Mr Metuh destroyed his statement and obstructed the EFCC officials by willfully tearing his statement.
Mr Ikpeazu added that a piece of paper not signed did not qualify as a statement by the defendant, and urged the court to discharge and acquit the defendant.
On his part, the prosecuting counsel Sylvanus Tahir, urged the court to establish whether or not a prima facie case had been made against the defendant.
He submitted to the court that cancellation of evidence was different from tearing. He argued that tearing of evidence is obstruction.
He, therefore, urged the court to call upon the defendant to enter his defence.

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