A WITNESS, Richard Ihediwa, told a Federal High Court on Thursday that embattled Olisa Metuh, solely funded publicity activities during Jonathan’s re-election campaign. Metuh, a former National Publicity Secretary of Peoples Democratic Party, is being tried for alleged N400m money laundering.
Ihediwa, who was Metuh’s Personal Assistant on Media, disclosed this while being led in evidence by the defence counsel, Mr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN). He said that it came to a point that the ‘situation room’ was not funded by the party, and Metuh decided to pick up the burden and funded the activities of the publicity team from his pocket.
The witness said the financial status of the publicity arm was so bad that at a point they could not pay companies that ran adverts for them. He said, “But Metuh begged and asked me to understand that the office was not funded.
“That was when it was decided that extra hands be hired but he (Metuh) said he will pay them from his pocket. The nature of our schedule was so tight that I literally broke down because of pressure of work. I couldn’t cope because I was alone.
“I told Metuh I would not be able to continue except he hired other professionals. He reminded me that funding was an issue in the party and said he had severally made a case to the national working committee to no avail. He pleaded I should continue but I said I couldn’t under such conditions.”
The witness further told the court that when he sought to know why his boss was using his personal funds for the party, he explained that he didn’t want to fail as a publicity secretary. He said, “He (Metuh) bought laptops, cameras, video cameras and was the one paying the monthly allowances of the five new media aides he engaged. As I speak, the party has not refunded him that money.”
The trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, adjourned the case till Oct. 31 for continuation of trial. – NAN
— Oct 27, 2016 @ 17:00 GMT