A former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olisa Metuh, has said that he will refund the N400 million he was paid by the regime of former President Goodluck Jonathan for image laundering to show support for the President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war.
Metuh, who is currently being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for allegedly collecting the sum from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), said he was in search of money to return to the Federal Government the N400m.
The N400m was alleged to be part of money meant for the purchase of arms to wage war against insecurity in the North-East.
Metuh, in a statement by his lawyer, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), titled, ‘Why our client (Chief Olisa Metuh) is offering to return the N400m – Counsel’ in Abuja on Thursday, said he was ready to refund the money.
Metuh said his earlier proposal to return the N400m released to him by Jonathan, was because he did not know where the money came from.
The statement added, “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 the 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 Metuh was invited to the Office of the National Security Adviser in December, 2015, he requested to know the source of the money and expressed his readiness to make refunds if it was from the 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.”
He stated that it was during his prosecution that he got to know the source of the fund.
“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 return the money and has indeed approached his family, friends and associates to mobilise funds to return the entire N400m 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,” the ex-PDP spokesman said.
Metuh explained that since then, he 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.
“His returning 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,” the statement added.
He said he would always support the anti-corruption war of the government.