Metuh
Metuh

Family of the immediate past national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, yesterday cried out that there is a hidden agenda on the on-going trial as the government has rejected its plea to refund the controversial N400 million.
In a press statement signed by Chief Gilbert Metuh, the family lamented that out of the over 300 companies that were allegedly paid by the former NSA, it is only Olisa Metuh that is being denied the offer he made to refund the money.
According to the press statement captioned ‘Our Son’s Life In Danger,’ the Metuh family said the federal government’s refusal to allow him to refund the N400million, and the ruling of the trial judge denying his request to travel abroad for medical treatment were pointers to the fact that he was facing persecution and not mere prosecution.
Part of the statement read: “In December 2015 when the issue of the N400 million came up and our son was invited by the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, he immediately reported at ONSA.
“He then made enquiries regarding the source of the money with a clear statement to ONSA that if the source of the money is from government coffers, he was willing to refund accordingly, not minding that the money has been expended as directed by the former president. At that time, ONSA did not make the necessary clarifications.
“Upon his arrest on the 5th of January 2016, the EFCC went to town mentioning several figures that were not the exact amount of money transferred to our son’s account.
“They alleged that N1.4 billion arms deal money was traced to his account and that he has been receiving N4 million monthly from ONSA. They kept him in detention for a period of nine days after which he was transferred to Kuje prison where he spent another 13 days.
“May we also point out that since his arrest and even up to about a week ago, our son has made several overtures to the arresting authority for him to refund the money since they now claim in court that it came from government coffers. All efforts have been unsuccessful.
“It is instructive that out of over 300 names listed as having received money from the ONSA, all those who offered to refund money were not arraigned in court.
“Our son is the only one whose offer to refund money was rejected and has been arraigned in court and his case given accelerated hearing. On each trial date the hostility in the courtroom is palpable.
“As we speak to you the offer to refund the money to the federal government is still open and the government is yet to accept the offer. It is therefore clear to us that the intention is not the recovery of funds but a clear persecution of our son.
“Till date, the powers that be have shown that they would rather prosecute our son than accept a refund of the money. For those who are conversant with the goings on in the court, it is no longer news that our son was not informed that this money came from a source other than from the former President. Why then this concerted effort to silence him finally.
“We feel more convinced that this is a political vendetta considering the fact of his efforts to pay back the money if it came from government coffers not minding that the money has been expended as directed by the former president.
“Our concern now is that our son should not be sentenced to a life in a wheel chair, especially as we believe that the paramount interest of the authorities should rather be more on the recovery of funds.
“In this case, our son has from the onset shown his willingness to refund the money rather than dragging in other party members involved in the said assignment.”
While narrating his medical history, the family lamented that while Chief Metuh was denied opportunity to travel abroad for medical treatment, another suspect in a similar case was given leave to travel abroad for religious purposes.
“It is also instructive to note that the Federal High Court, Abuja, on the same day granted leave to someone facing similar trial to go abroad for one month for prayers while our ailing son is not allowed to travel for urgent medical attention.
“We are also aware that a few others facing similar trials, within the same federal high court jurisdiction, have been granted leave to travel for medical treatment and their passports released to them by the same court where they were granted bail,” the statement concluded.


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