The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday morning slammed a fresh two-count charge on the spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh, over an alleged attempt by the politician to destroy a confessional statement made to its operatives.
The new charges came less than 48 hours after the Federal High Court, Abuja, granted him bail over a seven-count charge of corruption.
Like on Tuesday, Mr. Metuh was in handcuffs when he was brought into the court.
The handcuffs were later removed as he waited to be taken before a judge.
He was later brought before Justice Ishaq Bello, and accused of attempting to destroy information provided during his cross examination at the office of the EFCC.
Count one of the charge contains allegation of destruction of a statement he had given at the commission, to prevent it from being produced, while count two of the charge revolves around allegations of mischief, all punishable under section 327 of the Penal Code Act.
After pleading not guilty to the said charges, counsel to the EFCC, Sylvanus Tahir, asked for more time to allow his team present witnesses and evidence in support of the allegations against the politician.
Justice Bello, who is the chief judge of the FCT High Court, noted that the EFCC must produce three witnesses during the next sitting, without fail.
He noted that it was needless to have the case brought before him if it was already ongoing at a Federal High Court.
But EFCC counsel, Mr. Sylvanus, explained that the new charges, filed on January 18, were not the same as those currently being heard at the Federal High Court.
The matter was adjourned till January 25, for hearing of an application for bail, while information would be relayed later on whether or not the substantive suit would be heard Friday.
Mr. Metuh was also asked to return to Kuje Prison.
The EFCC had on January 12 accused Mr. Metuh of shredding a confessional statement he made to its operatives, indicating it would charge him separately for attempting to destroy a major evidence in the case against him.
“The tearing of statement is tantamount to willful destruction of government property and it is a serious offence,” the official had told this newspaper at the time. “Also the fact that he obstructed operatives from performing their job is also a criminal offence. We will explore the possibility of filling a separate charge against him at the Federal Capital Territory High Court.”
In the original case for which he is standing trial at the Federal High Court, Mr. Metuh is facing a seven-count charge of corruption.
He is accused of receiving N400 million from former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki. The amount is part of the allegedly diverted sum of $2.1 billion meant for the purchase of arms.
On Tuesday, Justice Okon Abang granted him bail.
To regain his freedom, however, Mr. Metuh, Justice Abang said, must deposit N400 million bail bond – same amount he is accused of illegally receiving; two sureties who must have properties in Maitama area of Abuja, and who must also deposit N200 million each.
It is unclear whether Mr. Metuh met those bail conditions.