Stop Media Persecution of Metuh – PDP

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Olisa Metuh

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THE office of the national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has denied the media report that Olisa Metuh, its leader, would rather die “rather starve than refund any money.”

A statement from the spokesman of the PDP’s office, said Metuh, who has been in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, custody since Tuesday, January 5, said that the statement credited to him was 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 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, ONSA. When this deliberate falsehood could not be sustained, it was adjusted to him receiving N400 million from the ONSA,” the statement signed by Richard Ihediwa, special assistant to Metuh said.

The Ihediwa said contrary to the media reports, Metuh had fully cooperated with investigators within his constitutionally guaranteed rights. He said the PDP spokesman had given his statement to the EFCC saying that he received the sum of N400 million from former President Goodluck Jonathan for an assignment and which he executed to the satisfaction of the former president.

According to the statement, Metuh has also indicated his readiness to make public the nature of this assignment, but only in an open court in line with the laws of the land, and where his statement would not be distorted by anybody.

“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 Metuh’s voluntary statement.

“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 the ONSA invitation via a text message, 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 paid on the instruction of the ex-president for an assignment was traceable to the ONSA account,” Ihediwa’s said further.

He pointed that Metuh, even before visiting the ONSA had at a media briefing acknowledged the receipt of N400 million from Jonathan for the undisclosed assignment and that based on the developments, Metuh cancelled his intended travels for the Yuletide and issued a statement declaring his readiness for any invitation and investigation by the EFCC or any agency of government.

“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,” the special assistant said.

He, however, urged Nigerians not to lose sight of the sequence and inconsistencies in the investigation and publications regarding Metuh’s case and that the law of the land must be allowed to take its full course by allowing Metuh to have his day in the open court of justice instead of media persecution against him.

—  Jan 12, 2016 @ 17:25 GMT

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