*Metuh planted thorns, cannot harvest flowers – Justice Abang
The Federal High Court in Abuja, Tuesday, after passing judgment on seven counts of money laundering, criminal diversion of funds, sentenced Mr Olisa Metuh, to seven years in prison.
The former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has been on trial since 2016 over money laundering and criminal diversion of funds to the tune of N400 million, according to Justice Okon Abang.
The charges were filed against Metuh and his company, Destra Investment, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which the judge sentenced him after been found guilty of all charges.
Giving his judgement, Justice Abang sentenced Metuh to seven years imprisonment in respect to Counts One to Three. On Count Four, he was sentenced to five years while he got seven, three and seven years for Counts Five, Six, and Seven years respectively.
“All the sentences should run concurrently, with effect from February 25, 2020, Justice Abang said.
The trial judge also sentenced Dextra Investment to pay a fine of N25 million concerning Counts Five and Six, while Metuh was also ordered to pay a fine of N375 million.
Justice Abang further ordered that the account of Dextra Investment should be forfeited to the Federal Government and the company be dissolved.
“Metuh “planted thorns and cannot harvest flowers. The convict had the opportunity of resolving the matter with the complainant without anybody knowing, especially when he was presented with the debit entry of the N50 million transferred to his wife.
“He should have been sober and resolved the matter to ensure the matter is not brought to court but instead, he became hardened and joined issues with the EFCC.
“Metuh also joined his counsels, Emeka Etiaba and Onyechi Ikpeazu, to ridicule the court by writing frivolous petitions.
“It is only God and my family that sustained me in the last four years of hostilities. The convict and a section of the media attempted to humiliate me,” the judge lamented.
“The origin of the $2 million could not be traced, Nigeria cannot continue like this.
“I cannot state all the negative things said about me in the course of this trial. I have forgiven the former PDP spokesman and his counsel, Etiaba.
“Metuh should be sober and resolve the matter amicably, especially when the case involved a family member.
“If I had the powers to exercise discretion, I would have exercised it in favour of the convict.
“Since I can’t go outside the law which stipulates between seven and 14 years imprisonment, in respect to Counts One to Three, I sentence him to 7 years imprisonment with effect from today (Tuesday),” Justice Abang added.