Why Metuh wants to refund N400m – Ikpeazu

Former National Publicity Secretary, People's Democratic Party ( PDP ), Chief Olisa Metuh PHOTO: LADIDI LUCY ELUKPO

Former National Publicity Secretary, People’s Democratic Party ( PDP ), Chief Olisa Metuh PHOTO: LADIDI LUCY ELUKPO

Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), ‎counsel to a former spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Olisa Metuh , has provided an explanation on why Metuh offered to refund the N400 million he allegedly collected from former President Goodluck Jonathan.

‎Ikpeazu said in a statement on Thursday that Metuh never knew the source of the money at the time he collected it.

“‎In the light of the circumstances regarding the case of our client, Chief Olisa Metuh with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), we want to explain the reasons for our client’s proposal to refund the N400 million released to him by former President Goodluck Jonathan, and which was expended on a project approved by the ex-President on national issues relating to his Presidency and the Federal Government at that time,” Ikpeazu said.

Ikpeazu said his client had every cause to believe that the money was from the ex-President to whom he made a presentation, received directives and rendered report and accounts accordingly.

He further said: “When the matter first came up and Chief Metuh was invited to the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in December 2015, he requested to know the source of the money and expressed his readiness to make refunds if it was from government coffers, not minding that the money had been expended as directed by the former President. Officials at ONSA never got back to him as they promised, until his arrest by the EFCC in January 2016.

“It was however while in court that a document was brought regarding the source of the money and since then, our Client has made manifest his willingness to refund the money and has indeed approached his family, friends and associates to mobilise funds to refund the entire N400 million to the government regardless of the fact that the money had been expended based on the directives of the former President and that part of the money had been recovered from one of the prosecution witnesses.

“‎We want to confirm that since then, we have been in talks with the Ministry of Justice, the EFCC and other necessary bodies on how to refund the money and resolve the issue.

“Our client occupied no government office. His commitment and dedication to his official duties have been confirmed by even prosecution witnesses. In this whole saga, he has been an unfortunate victim of circumstances. His refunding the money, therefore, goes to show his support for the anti-corruption war as well as serve as a testament to his sincerity, integrity and honesty in this matter.

“There is no doubt that the prosecution has considerably embarked on some expenses in the course of this case. It is hoped that by not discounting the sum already recovered, whatever cost so far incurred would have been defrayed. By this, a critical objective of recovery of funds would no doubt be achieved.

“It is pertinent to restate our client’s continued support for the anti-corruption campaign, which is necessary to ensure probity in the affairs of Nigeria to the extent that it is conducted within the rule of law.

“Finally, it is our client’s prayer that this nation shall come through this difficult time by the grace of the Almighty God.”‎

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  • peaceman

    Story story.

  • Kunle O.

    Wonderful! Metuh did not know that N400m was from government coffers? PDP or GEJ has any business that generates money? A thief is a thief, is a thief.

    • Nekweka

      I think we should not crucify people based on guesswork. someone said that the decision to fund the GEJ 2015 campaign from NSA funds must have been a collective one with Metuh as one of decision makers. I want us to thrash the air of uncertainty surrounding MUST HAVE in the sentence before this one. What the decision is not collective one and Metuh not one of the decision makers, will he still be called a thief? I am not saying that he should not be called a thief if he is one but we have to be sure that he is one.
      Talking about thieves, is it not proper to call someone who spent N139million in digging just two boreholes a thief. will it not be wise to go all out and fish-out thieves wherever they may be hiding in the different political parties and geo-political zones.
      Lastly, I want us to shift a bit from those who looted BH War Funds and reflect on those people who introduced and funded BH. I tell you they are still living freely among us, who knows, some may even be in government. A suspected BH loyalist was found among PMB’s Presidential Guards. That is very dangerous!

  • Perrymarvis2014

    METUH METUH. Shame on you if you claim you never knew where the money came from. I wonder what could have been the fate of Nigeria if GEJ were to have won the election, Metuh must go to jail for stealing which his former said was not corruption.

  • MammanJiyaVatsa

    Return the money, with financial-charges in taxes & corrections. period – Thief.

  • Benny

    So many hypocrites all over the place! No one has bother to verify the submission of Metuh but are quick to cast aspersions. Metuh has insisted that he submitted a proposal to the then President regarding PRO jobs and the said proposal was approved by the President. If I may ask, if you were in Metuh’s shoes will you question the President after he approve your proposal and he recommended that the former NSA should pay you? Personally, I think the person that should be held liable if any discrepancies arose from this is the former President GEJ. Let’s be factual and stop acting hypocritically. If the EFCC has the balls, they should demand from GEJ why he has to pay Metuh from the ONSA account.

    • ob

      Benny I agree with you to an extent, however was Methu far from Govt at that time! He was part of the Govt and the plot to fund the campaign from the NSA’s funds, would have been a collective decision of the key stakeholders of the party and Govt at that time, he was too key to have been left out of that decision. He is only seeking a plea bargain option now that the chips are down. In the words of Ruben Abati, the yesterday’s men now have to render accounts, let’s leave sentiments out of this.

      For once imagine the number of lives that would have been saved if the N400million was put into the NE Boko Haran battle, the soldiers that paid the supreme price because Methu spent their allocation on only God knows what. Some of this money may have been used to send his kids overseas for summer, while other kids were being slaughtered or in flight on foot, to Cameroun.

      God loves this country, or else if these same group had continued for the next 60years as they promised, it would have been a tale of “there was a country”.

    • share Idea

      My gee, you have not only said the truth but an undisputable fact. I’ve a strong feeling that this administration is just blackmailing all these people through EFCC. It is very strange how the government will be prosecuting people that received money from supposed government official and refused to interview or prosecute the ex-president that gave the order.

      My hunch is that interviewing or prosecuting the former president would have thrown more lights on how or why he actually gave those orders and if the orders legally binding. Buhari just last year gave some money to Golden eaglet players that played more than 20 years ago. Imagine after Buhari had left, another leader came and started arresting the beneficiary that actually the more that was given to you were from Army or police funds and that you must return that money.

      • Victor

        Left to you and your type, the idea of asking Metuh to account for his services to the Nigerian state is an aberration. It’s your type that have been shouting that Metuh, Dasuki and all those who stole Nigeria blind should be left alone. You are the reason Nigeria is like this. You support our enemies.

        • share Idea

          Please list the ones that are enemies of the state and friends so that we all can see your objectivity? Nigeria we hail thee

          • Victor

            Just tell your man to return what he has taken and have his peace. I hear he’s asking for assistance from his friends and family members to raise the money. You sound like you received a share. Help your brother.

  • Victor

    I hope those in government are learning from what is happening to those who have ruled Nigeria before them. Be careful with public money. This has been one of our major problems in Nigeria.