APC, FG Operatives Intimidating My Doctors

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Erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, has alleged a contrivance by operatives of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to punish him by intimidating doctors open to render medical attention to his failing health.

Metuh in a statement alleged that besides intimidating Nigerian doctors attending to his health, that operatives of the ruling party have also taken the campaign against him to a United Kingdom hospital to which a letter was addressed depicting him as an enemy of Nigeria.

While noting the continued denial of his passport for medical attention abroad and the corresponding liberty given to others facing similar charges to undertake pilgrimages and other ventures abroad, Metuh deposed that it was now clear that his case had turned into a media trial for offences committed in the defence of his party.

Metuh who served as spokesman of the former ruling party is facing trial for allegedly receiving N400 million from the office of the National Security Adviser, money, he claims was released to him on the instruction of former President Goodluck Jonathan for party affairs.

In the statement issued on his behalf by his lawyer, Benchuks Nwosu, yesterday, the former PDP spokesman who claimed he has now been bedridden for the past two months said: “We have instances and evidence of these APC controlled agents and agencies directly interfering with the various hospitals that have admitted Metuh in the last two months but the latest is the letter written by APC to the Wellington hospital, London, U.K, depicting our client as an enemy of the Nigerian state and one that should not even access to medical treatment abroad.

“The clear fact, as evidenced by his MRI report, is that Metuh has severe spondylosis with disc herniations, cord and nerve root compressions in his cervical, thoracic and lumbosacral spine. This has resulted in semi-paralysis and we have even gone further in open court to request that the prosecution be allowed to conduct their own independent clinical examination of the person involved.

“Our client has not left the confines of a hospital or his own bedroom for the past two months except to attend court proceedings. He spent several hours in court on March 14, 2018 and had to be taken straight to hospital to be sedated with pentadine injection and other strong pain killers. In order to be present in court on subsequent days (15th and 16th of March 2018) he also had to take the strong pain killer injections early morning before the sittings. This however, resulted in our client being semi-drowsy on the 15th and 16th and was clearly unable to even observe or follow the proceedings in open court.

“In any case, are these people not aware that it is only in Metuh’s matter that the issue of release of passport for an accused person has been such an impossibility? “Just last week, a court released the passport of an accused person being prosecuted by the same EFCC to enable him attend a conference abroad. Others have been allowed to go for medical check- up abroad and even for pilgrimage. The same court had also granted some other accused persons facing charges the same indulgence being denied Metuh.

“We believe strongly that these media trials are geared towards convincing the public that a man whose charge is that he “reasonably ought to have known” that the money given to him was part of an unlawful activity of another individual who has not even been questioned, investigated or charged is already guilty and convicted even before he has given his evidence in the matter.

“Our client, Metuh has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has been making his case on his innocence. He has applied the highest level of comportment in showing his respect for our legal system. His only worry remains his plea to be allowed to have a definitive treatment of his worsening ailment. He has suffered humiliation and pain simply by being obedient to court orders.
“The fight against corruption does not imply persecution, manifest wickedness and lynch mob approach to particular individuals.”

Wtiness: I Did Not Say Govt House Accountant was on the Run

An operative of the EFCC, Ovie Tobore Akpoyibo, yesterday told Justice Mohammed Idris of a Federal High Court in Lagos that he did not testify that one Michael Akpan Udoh, who was a cashier at the Abia State Government House, has fled.
He made the disclosure during his cross-examination at the on-going trial of a former Abia State Governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu and two others over alleged fraud.

A section of the media had wrongly quoted the witness saying Udoh, whom the EFCC regarded as a star witness in the case, has fled.
Responding to a question from Kalu’s lawyer, Chief Awa Kalu (SAN), the witness said: “I did not tell the court the witness on whom I went to serve a court summons in Umuahia has fled.”

Akpoyibo also added that he is not aware of any relationship between Udoh and Kalu.
In his testimony before the court on Monday, the witness who is serving at the Port Harcourt office of the commission narrated how efforts to arrest Udoh, who was a cashier at the Abia State Government House, has been unsuccessful.

He said: “In respect of Udoh, on January 15, 2018, I was instructed to go to Umuahia to locate his residence and if possible arrest him. When I got to Umuahia, I linked up with the State Attorney-General and he called the Accountant-General who took me to Udoh’s apartment.

“Operatives gained access into the property the next day. At the place, we met Udoh’s wife and daughter and we were told that the man has travelled to Calabar. I later asked for his phone number but I could not connect with him. I then left my phone number with the wife so that he can call me anytime he is around.”.
The witness further revealed that efforts to serve a court summons on Udoh for him to appear as a witness in the case has also yielded no positive result.

At yesterday’s proceedings, EFCC also called its 14th witness, Emojevwe Eboh, a compliance officer with First City Monument Bank (FCMB).
In his testimony, Eboh told the court that sometimes in February 2008, the EFCC requested for the account opening package of a firm known as General Ventures International Limited. He said the documents were later forwarded to the anti-graft agency.

EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), later sought for the admittance of the documents as exhibits by the court.
In the absence of any opposition from the defence lawyers, the documents were admitted as exhibits by the judge.
Further hearing in the matter has been adjourned to March 28 and 29, 2018.