Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The family of the embattled former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, has lamented the ordeal he is facing since his arrest, detention and arraignment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in January this year.
In a statement issued on behalf of the family by Chief Gilbert Metuh, the family said the health of the former PDP spokesman is presently in grave danger.
According to him, Metuh was diagnosed of a spinal cord problem in 2004 and that he has consistently managed it over this period.
“However, due to the treatments he received while in custody, the situation got aggravated. We are aware that the matter regarding our son is subjudice hence we shall only comment on matters that are already in the public domain. For the avoidance of doubt, we want to make the following clarifications,” he said.
Metuh’s elder brother said his health situation had since deteriorated, especially after he fell at a meeting in the party office for which he was rushed to the National Hospital and was admitted in the Intensive Care Unit.
“We are therefore shocked that with all the information available to the court regarding his grave medical condition and the critical need for him to have this corrective surgery, the Federal High Court in Abuja has refused his application.
“It is also instructive to note that the federal high court 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,” Metuh senior said.
While commenting on Metuh’s ordeal with the EFCC, the family said: “ In December 2014, when the issue of the N400 million came up, and our son was invited by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), and 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 it 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 January 5, 2015, 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.
“Nigerians are aware that of all the people who have been facing the predicament of having worked for either the PDP or the previous federal government, our son has been the only one brought to court in handcuffs, paraded as a common criminal and treated without any dignity whatsoever.
“Eventually, our son was granted bail under one of the most stringent conditions ever in the history of our country. Fortunately, we were able to meet the bail conditions and our son has been facing trial since then. He has been cooperating with the judiciary and has done all required of him in the course of the trial.”