By Alex Enumah in Abuja
A former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, on Thursday told the Federal High Court in Abuja that the N400 million project fund in which he is standing trial was paid to him by former President Goodluck Jonathan and not the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
Metuh informed the court that the money which led to his arraignment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on money laundering charges was paid to him by Jonathan to execute some national assignment for the federal government.
Giving evidence on behalf of his company, Dextra Investment Ltd, which is the second defendant in the suit and the account where the N400 million was paid into, the ex-spokesperson of the PDP told Justice Okon Abang that he could not consider the money for act of any unlawful purpose because it came from the then president.
Metuh recalled that he held a meeting with the then president where various issues and challenges facing the country were discussed; adding that former President Jonathan promised and made the N400 million available to him to carry out the national assignment.
He stressed that the money could not have been for an unlawful purpose because he was helping and contributing to stabilising the then government because President Jonathan was elected on the PDP platform.
Metuh specifically dismissed allegations that the money was channelled to him through Dasuki, saying: “I did not receive any money from Col. Sambo Dasuki. Dasuki represents one of the finest and most brilliant military officers ever produced in the Nigerian military. He has had a distinguished career, served a lot of government and finally served as National Security Adviser for this country, under former President Jonathan.
“Up till May 29, 2015, no individual or group had ever questioned Dasiki’s integrity not to talk of been charged or arrested for any unlawful act. I am not aware of any criminal charge against Dasuki or any unlawful act until we lost government in 2015. As I am talking on oath before this court now, I can say categorically that Dasuki has not been interrogated, charged or convicted for any act relating to me and my company. The N400 million was paid into my account by the then president and I did not conceal or disguise the money and it was not transferred out of jurisdiction.”
Metuh insisted that the money was paid to him for specific purposes and disbursed to those who executed the purposes as directed by the then president, adding that he later submitted details of the disbursement to the president.
He urged the court to take a look at the list of disbursement carried out in cash and in cheques. Metuh also dismissed the insinuation that the N400 million was meant to fund the PDP, adding that at the period, the PDP was rich to the tune of N33 billion, with N12 billion generated from sales of nomination forms and N21 billion raked from fund raising.
According to him, the N400 million was not for PDP, because there is no need “to take a cup of water to the ocean”.
Meanwhile, further cross examination has been adjourned to June 24, 25 and 26.