The Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) has lamented over the report making the round that its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh who is currently in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over allegations of benefiting from the $2.1bn arms deal said he would rather starve than refunding any money.
In a statement signed by Richard Ihediwa , senior special assistant to Metuh said that the continued false reports in the media is part of blackmail and scheme to pitch Metuh against the public
“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 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.
“In further exercise of his rights, Chief 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.
“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 paid on the instruction of
the ex-President for an assignment was traceable to the ONSA account.
Recall 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
canceled 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.
“This office urges Nigerians not to lose sight of the sequence and
inconsistencies in the investigation and publications regarding Chief
Metuh’s case. We believe that in this case, the law must not be
suspended but applied in its full measure by charging and allowing Chief
Metuh to state his case in the open court instead of this continued
media persecution against him.