A former Political Adviser to the ex-Vice President, Namadi Sambo, Abba Dabo, yesterday told a Federal High Court in Abuja that he returned to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC the sum of N25million paid to him by the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh for the party’s media publicity works.
Dabo, who was testifying as the seventh prosecution witness against Metuh, said he returned the money on his own volition in January 2016 due to media publications indicating that it was sourced from funds meant for procurement of arms.
He said the N25million was paid to him through Metuh’s firm, Destra Investment Limited’s account on December 16, 2014, five days after former President Goodluck Jonathan and Sambo emerged as the PDP’s presidential and vice-presidential candidates of the party at the party’s nomination convention.
The witness, who is a past newspaper editor and was the Chief Press Secretary to former President Shehu Shagari, said he decided to return the money to the EFCC because he could not reach Metuh, who was then in the custody of the anti-graft agency.
The PDP chief said, “Unfortunately, there were reports in the media, on this transaction with Chief Metuh linking it to controversial circumstances. I mean it was identified that Chief Metuh paid the N25million to my account through his company and that the source of the money was from the arms deal that was being discussed generally in the country.
“As a result of that publication, we thought we needed to explain, and because it was paid to my personal account, in my name, I decided to make a refund, and I paid it to EFCC, because I couldn’t reach Mr. Metuh that particular time.
“The newspapers were awash with the story that linked the money given to me to the arms money that was said to have been diverted to other uses by the Office of the National Security Adviser. On my own volition, I decided that the best way out of the rigmarole was to pay back the amount. I paid it back to EFCC.”
Dabo further said that with the N25million which he got from Metuh in the build-up to the 2015 presidential election, he helped to mitigate and counter negative media reports against the then Jonathan-led government and the PDP.
He said he used the money to run the Media Support System which he had set up to boost the PDP’s media profile in response to “vicious attacks” from Hausa radio stations and criticisms from the Nigerian media as well as the social media.
Under cross-examination by the defence counsel, Mr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, Dabo confirmed that he considered the refund of the money “absolutely important”, and that he made the refund to EFCC through three bank drafts.
“I wrote a letter to the EFCC attaching three bank drafts with a cover letter acknowledging that Chief Olisa Metuh, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, gave N25million to me on December 16, 2014 for the purposes of publicity campaign which was paid by What’s App Naija and Media Support System,” he said.
He said he did not mention the refund in his statement made to the EFCC on January 6, 2016 “because I needed to go to the bank the next day and make necessary arrangement”.

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