The immediate past spokesperson of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Olisa Metuh, has again offered to refund to the Nigerian government, the N400 million he received from the office of the National Security Adviser in the build up to the 2015 general election.
Mr. Metuh, who is facing trial at the Federal High, had said he did not know that the money given to him by the ONSA, when Sambo Dasuki was NSA, was meant for arms procurement.
He said former President Goodluck Jonathan gave him an assignment and ordered for the release of the funds to him.
Speaking through his lawyer, Emeka Etiaba, on Thursday, Mr. Metuh said at the time the money was released to him after his presentation to the ex-president, he had no knowledge of the source.
“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,”Mr. Etiaba said.
The lawyer said when the matter first came up and Mr. 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 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 said.
He also said it was while in court that a document was brought regarding the source of the money and since then, the former PDP spokesperson has made manifest “his willingness to refund the money and has indeed approached his family, friends and associates to mobilize 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”.
Mr. Etiaba said 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.
“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.
“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,” he said.
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