The former PDP spokesman, Olisa Metuh, says he is ready to return the N400 million he has been accused of diverting. He says it is to show support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war.
Metuh said this in a statement by his lawyer, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), on Thursday.
Olisa Metuh is facing trial at the federal high court, Abuja for allegedly receiving N400m — being money for arms purchase — from Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser (NSA). Metuh’s claim is that the money was given to him by former President Goodluck Jonathan for media campaigns ahead of the 2015 presidential election.
He however, has decided to return the money, just like that.
“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,” the statement read.
“We want to restate that at the time the money was released to him after his presentation to the ex-president, our client had no knowledge of the source, a fact that is now obvious from the evidence of the prosecution and defence witnesses. Our client had every cause to believe that the money was from the ex-president to whom he made presentation, received directives and rendered report and accounts accordingly.
“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.”
Metuh said that had been in “talks with the ministry of justice, the EFCC and other necessary bodies on how to refund the money and resolve the issue”.