Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
A witness for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Junaid Sa’id yesterday told an Abuja High Court sitting in Maitama that spokesman of the People Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Olisa Metuh made reference to former President Goodluck Jonathan in the written statement he volunteered to the commission which he later tore.
According to him, the particular document Metuh destroyed contained details that made references to former President GoodlucK Jonathan.
Junaid, a Special Task Force Team member of EFCC, led in evidence by Mr. Tahir Sylvanus is the first Prosecution Witness (PW1) in the case brought against the PDP Spokesman.
He also told Justice Ishaq Bello that Olisa Metuh, in the torn evidence, had admitted that he received the sum of N400million for political activities of the PDP and used it to settle personal debts.
Junaid told the court that Metuh honored the invitation of the EFCC and was interrogated by himself, Ibrahim Musa, Michael Wetkas, Bello Umar, David Nkpe, Bello Adama and Eucharia Ibrahim.
He said: “In course of investigations, a team visited the residence of Metuh on 5th January, 2016 and invited him to the EFCC where he was interviewed.
“After the interview, he was asked if he was willing to volunteer his statement to which he said yes.
“When he concluded writing the statement on four sheets of EFCC statement forms, the defendant (Metuh) said that he was surprised that he had written that much and that he felt he had given too much information. ”
The witness also stated before the court that when his superiors Musa and Wetkas finished reading the statement, it was handed over back to him and he took it to the defendant for him to endorse it but because of Metuh’s statement earlier that he had written too much, he became cautious and didn’t give him the statement all at once but gave him one by one.
After Metuh had read and endorsed the first and second statement, the third statement sheet where Metuh had allegedly written that he had used the money of PDP political activities to settle his personal debts and also made references to President Goodluck Jonathan was suddenly torn into pieces by the defendant.
“In great shock and surprise, I stood up and asked him why he did what he just did and he said that he did that because he was no longer willing to give the information in the sheet,” Junaid told the court.
He continued, “I persuaded him to handover the torn sheet and brought one plain paper before him, he poured the pieces on the plain sheet. My other colleagues were there looking at us in surprise as well
“He furthered tore them into pieces, saying only in the movies would this be recovered.
“I poured the pieces in the commission’s transparent polythene bag for exhibit and made entry of the incident into the EFCC’s incident duty station diary as well as EFCC’s pocket notebook.
“Later, in the day he requested to make additional statement, which he made, wrote his name and signed but declined to make any other statement on the torn paper,” Junaid added.
The EFCC’s incident duty station diary, EFCC’s pocket notebook and the torn pieces were tendered and admitted as exhibits.
Junaid however admitted under cross examination by Metuh’s counsel, Chief Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN that the issue of the torn sheet was not written in his statement.
Ikpeazu demanded for the witness statement, but the prosecuting counsel gave him a photocopy of the statement.
Tahir said the defendant should have served him with notice to produce the document.
Justice Bello then said the matter could no longer proceed without the original copy of the witness statement.
“Documents must meet the status as required by the law, there must be a certified copy of your documents.
“It is a healthy practice to produce the documents in your custody, especially in a criminal trial,’’ the judge told EFCC.
Justice Bello therefore adjourned the case till March 16 for continuation.