A witness yesterday told a Federal High Court in Abuja that the embattled former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), was absent when the former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, was given N400 million.
Metuh is facing trial for alleged diversion of the N400 million he got from the office of the former NSA, Dasuki.
Richard Ihediwa, a 5th defence witness, stated his position while fielding questions from Metuh’s counsel, Emeka Etiaba, in the ongoing trial at the court.
Ihediwa, according to Premium Times, said Dasuki was not present when N400 million was given to Metuh, during a November 2014 meeting with former President Goodluck Jonathan.
He said Metuh was paid the money after a screening exercise conducted at the meeting of leaders of the party with the former president.
“Present at the meeting were national leaders like Doyin Okupe, Peter Obi, Liyel Imoke, Namadi Sambo, among others,” Ihediwa said.
Asked whether Dasuki was present during the meeting, Mr. Ihediwa responded in the negative.
He added that the controversial sum of N400 million was given to Metuh, following the outcome of that meeting.
The witness also told the court that the ex-spokesperson used personal funds to run the affairs of the then ruling party.
Ihediwa said Metuh bought various equipment for use by the publicity department with his personnel earnings, ahead of the 2015 general election.
“Several equipment including still cameras, video cameras, laptops and other computers were bought by the defendant with his personal fund, to my knowledge,” said Ihediwa.
He said five new staff were recruited at the time who were under the payroll of Metuh.
“I had noticed that he was using his personal funds to finance major expenses for the party, so I asked why. He then explained that given the current circumstance, he would not allow the lack of funds to deter his desire to succeed as leader of the party’s publicity department.
“In many occasions, media houses covering the PDP were always owed money for adverts that they ran for us, due to the lack of fund,” said Ihediwa.
Metuh’s trial continues before Justice Okon Abang on October 31.