The Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday admitted in evidence account of expenditures made by former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh.
The account contained details of expenditure sub-heads of the N400 million, which he averred was used for a special national assignment given to him by former President Goodluck Jonathan.The court also admitted in evidence media publications wherein the leadership of PDP in 2016 absolved Metuh of benefiting in any way from the fund.
The documents, tendered by Metuh while being led in evidence by his counsel, Abel Ozioko, were admitted as exhibits 21 and 22. Metuh had on April 10 tendered a document detailing disbursements, names and signatures of individuals who received funds in execution of the national assignment, which was also admitted by the court as Exhibit 20.
Giving evidence before Justice Okon Abang, Metuh stated that he personally handed the final account to Jonathan who commended him for his thoroughness in executing the assignment.
The assignment, according to Metuh, entailed intensive nationwide advocacy to douse tension created by insurgency and sectional agitations. Metuh further told the court that no part of the N400 million was spent on any PDP programme, contrary to claims of money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He went on to clear the air on his earlier hesitation to give out the names of those who worked under him in the execution of the assignment to the EFCC, but preferred to tender them in court, adding that such individuals included respected professionals in various fields, including university lecturers whom he wanted to save from negative media report and misrepresentations at the time.
He said: “Exhibit D20 contained names of professionals who worked with me and received funds in execution of the assignment. Because they accepted to participate in the assignment due to the confidence and trust reposed in me, I did not want them to suffer the humiliation of negative reports at the time.
“It was for this reason that I insisted that if there were any questions, repercussions, refunds or persecution to be suffered in that regard, it should be directed to me personally. That is the concept of leadership.”The matter has been adjourned till May 27, 2019 for continuation of trial.