- PDP disowns his deputy’s comment
Detained National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh yesterday maintained that details of the assignment given to him for which he was given N400million to execute will be made public only in an open court.
Reacting to what he described as “Dissemination of untrue reports” about the reasons for his continued detention by the EFCC, Chief Metuh said through his Media Assistant, Richard Ihediuwa, that there is a“desperations to use a section of the media to spur public sentiments against the PDP spokesman, who has been in the EFCC custody since last Tuesday.”
According to the aide “Chief Metuh believes that the continued false reports in the media, the latest being the publication claiming that he told investigators that he would “rather starve than refund any money”, is part of the blackmail and scheme to pitch him against the public.
“The grand design to sway the public and derail the course of proper investigation started with misleading and malicious reports that Chief Metuh made away with N1.4 billion arms deal cash and had been receiving a monthly N4 million stipend from the Office of the National Security Adviser. When this deliberate falsehood could not be sustained, it was adjusted to him receiving N400 million from ONSA.
“This office wishes to state categorically that Chief Metuh has fully cooperated with investigators within his constitutionally guaranteed rights. In the exercise of his rights, he has since given his statement to the EFCC wherein he submitted that he received the sum of N400 million from the former President for an assignment, which he executed to the satisfaction of the former President.
“Chief Metuh therefore believes that his continued incarceration and failure to charge him to court are deliberately intended to prevent him from telling his own story in the open court for all Nigerians to know.
“We wish to state that contrary to the impression that the issue of N400 million was a product of investigation, it was actually a product of Chief Metuh’s voluntary statement.
“Chief Metuh had since informed that sometime in December 2015, the ONSA published an invitation to companies they believed executed contracts for it for a chat.
“Upon ONSA invitation via a text message, Chief Metuh, regardless of the fact that he did not execute any contract for the Office, appeared before the ONSA panel, wherein he presented his company’s statement of account showing that the sum of N400 million was paid on the instruction of
the ex-President for an assignment, was traceable to the ONSA account.”
Ihediwa further recalled that Chief Metuh, even before visiting ONSA had at a media briefing acknowledged the receipt of N400 million from the ex-President for the exercise of the said assignment.
“Following the developments, Chief Metuh, as a responsible citizen cancelled his intended travels for the Yuletide and issued a statement wherein he noted his readiness for any invitation and investigation by the EFCC or any other agency of government for that matter.
“We are therefore worried at the continued media persecution where a citizen is being charged, sentenced and jailed in the court of the media instead of being charged to the law court as required by the law.’’
Meanwhile, National leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday disowned statement credited to the party’s deputy national publicity secretary, Abdullahi Jalo, over the controversy surrounding the $2.1 billion arms-gate.
Jalo, who is not a member of the National Working Committee, NWC, had on Monday called on former President Goodluck Jonathan to speak up on the disbursement of money purportedly for arms purchase and also declared that members of the party arrested over the matter are on their own.
Reacting to the report, the PDP acting national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, said during an interactive session with journalists after the opening ceremony of the technical session for the review of the PDP constitution at Shehu Yar’Adua centre Abuja, that Jalo was only expressing a personal opinion as he was not mandated to speak on behalf of the party.
Prince Secondus explained that none of the organs of the party discussed the issue as presented by Jalo and distanced the PDP from the view expressed by the deputy national publicity secretary.
“Maybe he is expressing his own personal views. There was no time we discussed in the Working Committee or at National Executive Council, such issue came up. So, Jalo must be expressing his personal views.”
On Jalo’s position that the there is a vacuum in the national chairmanship of the party and that he (Secondus) cannot act in place of substantive chairman, Secondus declared that the party’s constitution is very explicit on the issue.