By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The lawyer representing the former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, has said that there was not time during the course of trial that any media house was mentioned as a party in the suit. Reacting to a media report in a statement issued on Friday, Metuh’s counsel, Ben Chuks Nwosu, said that at no time did the witness tell the court that any media house or any representative/staff of any media house was paid in whatever form to launder the image of the former President as suggested in the misleading report.
He said the witness, who is Special Assistant to Metuh, stated directly and clearly that all the payments to the media were for advertorials, and that paying through representatives of the media houses was the normal practice in the media industry. “Our attention has been drawn to a misleading report in a section of the media suggesting that the Fifth Defence Witness in the case involving our client, Chief Olisa Metuh, told the court that money was paid to media houses or their representatives from the controversial N400 million to launder the image of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
“This report is highly embarrassing and does not in anyway reflect the testimony and evidence of the Fifth Defence witness, Mr. Richard Ihediwa, in the court. “What the witness told the court was that the sum paid into his account by Chief Metuh, who was National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the time was for payments for sundry advertorials placed by Chief Metuh in various media houses. The witness had earlier laid a proper foundation that media advertorials from the PDP are placed and paid for by the National Publicity Secretary, mostly in cash or through bank transfers to the media house through their representatives covering the party,” he said.