Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court Abuja on Tuesday sentenced a former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh, to seven years imprisonment on corruption charges.
Justice Abang convicted Metuh on all the seven counts, including the fraudulent receipt of N400m from the Office of the National Security Adviser in November 2014 and use of the money for political activities of the PDP and for his personal purposes.
The court also found Metuh guilty of transacting with a cash sum of $2m without going through a financial institution.
The judge said the transaction violated the anti-money laundering law which places the maximum cash transaction an individual undertake outside a financial institution at N5m.
He therefore sentenced Metuh to seven years imprisonment for counts 1, 2, 4 and 7, five years imprisonment in respect of count 3, and three years in respect of counts 5 and 6.
Abang however, ordered that the sentences shall run concurrently.
This means that he would only spend the highest number of years of jail term, which is seven, in prison.
Metuh was also directed to pay a fine of N375m to the Federal Government.
The judge furthered ordered the winding up of Destra Investments.
But before then, it must pay N25m to the Federal Government and its accounts in Diamond Bank and Asset Resource Management to be closed and their proceeds forfeited to the Federal Government.
According to the judge, Dasuki transferred the money to the defendants “in breach of public trust”, saying Metuh and his firm reasonably ought to have known that the sum of N400 million paid to them formed part of the proceeds of the unlawful activity of the ex-NSA because they had no form of a contractual relationship with the ONSA.
Abang brushed aside the argument of the defence who argued that the defendants could not be convicted for the money laundering offence because Dasuki, who is currently being prosecuted, had yet to be convicted for the predicate offence of breach of trust and corruption.
The judge countered that “the predicate offence and the money laundering offence are intertwined”.
“The success or failure of the predicate offence does not determine the success or failures of the money laundering offence,” Abang said.