The Federal High Court, Abuja, has admitted into evidence, records of expenditure of the N400 million the former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh is alleged to have fraudulently received.
The trial judge, Justice Okon Abang admitted the document titled; “President National Assignment Account, into evidence and marked it as exhibit D20.
Metuh had testified that the N400 million was paid to him by former President Goodluck Jonathan for a special national assignment.
He had also testified that he disbursed the money under the directives of the former president, after which he also tendered account with receipts of payments to him.
Metuh who was led in evidence by his counsel, Abel Ozioko, at the resumed hearing on Tuesday, confirmed that no part of the N400 million was used for the campaign activities of the PDP.
He said it was exclusively used for the presidential special national assignment.
The records of account tendered by Metuh contained details of the disbursements and signatures of those who received funds in the execution of the said special national assignment.
Metuh further told the court that he had no dealings with an aide of the former vice president, Abba Dabo, the seventh prosecution witness, with regards to the special national assignment.
He explained that the N25 million he paid to Dabo was from the PDP for PDP activities and not from the N400 million.
He said this was because Dabo did not carry out any role in the special national assignment and was never assigned any role in the project.
“All the dealings I had with Dabo had nothing to do with the special national assignment.
“Nothing about Dabo was contained in the record of account submitted to the former president and there is no record of payment made to Dabo in the special national assignment”, Metuh said.
According to Metuh, I had previously testified in court that as National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, I usually make payment from my personal resources for party activities after which I get refunds from the party.
He drew the attention of the court to exhibit D11 tendered by the Head of PDP Publicity Directorate, Mrs Chinwe Nnorom.
The exhibit reflected a refund of N25 million to Metuh for the fund he paid to Dabo for a project he carried out for the party.
Metuh said he was shocked that Dabo did not ask him about the source of the N25 million refunded him by the party before refunding same to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).
Justice Abang adjourned the matter until April 10 for continuation of trial.
Metuh is standing trial along with his company, Destra Investment Limited on a seven count charge which involves laundering $2 million.
Rivers Community Charges Security Agencies On Kidnapped Victim’s Whereabouts
Some concerned indigenes of Agwut-Obolo Community in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, have called on security agencies to intensify the search for the whereabouts of Elder Otungban Francis, who was recently kidnapped by unknown gunmen in the community.
It would be recalled that some hoodlums recently stormed the community in two outboard engine boats and whisked away their victim after disposing him and his security aides of their belongings.
An indigene of the community who gave his name simply as Mr Brown, described the incident as one too many, stating that the community is now living in fear due to the activities of kidnappers.
Brown stressed the need for the various security agencies to intensify their efforts in search of the old man with a view to rescuing him alive.
Also speaking, another concerned indigene of the community, Taribo Awaji-Inomida Kacham, who described the incident as barbaric, said that kidnapping is now a regular feature in the community and called on the abductors to release him unconditionally.
She also called on the state government and the security agencies to investigate the incessant kidnap incidents in Andoni, maintaining that those found culpable should be arrested and prosecuted.
Similarly, the president, Andoni Youth Federation, Comrade Mike Amachree also condemned the kidnap of Elder Francis Otungban and assured that he has confidence in the government and security agencies in rescuing him alive without any ransom.
Several phone calls made to the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) on the matter were not answered.
N32.5m Fraud: Pastors Bag Jail Terms In Delta
Justice F. N. Azinge of the Delta State High Court sitting in Otor-Udu, has convicted and sentenced one Pastor Glory Okeoghene Aberefa and Reverend Vincent Okpogo to 16 and 10 years imprisonment, respectively.
The duo, alongside their company, Mustard Seed Micro Investment Limited, were prosecuted by the Benin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Under the guise of running a finance company, the convicts defrauded dozens of unsuspecting members of the public of millions of naira, through their fraudulent Mustard Seed Micro Investment Limited.
They were arraigned on 16-count charges, bordering on conspiracy to steal and stealing, contrary to Section 516 and 390 (9) of the Criminal Code, CAP 21, Vol 1, Laws of Delta State of Nigeria, 2006.
On June 19, 2017, they pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
EFCC legal team members, V. O. Agbaje and K. U. Udus had acted on a petition and investigation which fingered them in the stealing of the sum of N32,516,620.
Pastor Aberefa was sentenced to one year imprisonment on each of the 16 counts, while the second defendant, Reverend Okpogo was sentenced to one year imprisonment each on count seven to 16.
The sentences are to run consecutively.
The convicts, already in prison, were earlier jailed 17 years by both the Federal High Court, Asaba and Delta State High Court, Warri.
They would now serve a new sentence, which Justice Azinge said would take effect after completion of the extant 17 years imprisonment.
Rivers CP Tasks Officers On Dedication …Decorates 19 New SPs
The Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, has charged the 19 newly promoted police officers to consider their promotion as a call for more commitment to duty and hard work.
The 19 decorated officers, who were promoted to the rank of Superintendents of Police (SPs) include the command’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Nnamdi Omoni.
Decorating the promoted officers, Mukan, encouraged them to be diligent in their duties and assured of his administration’s support to ensure that officers of the command carry out their duties efficiently.
The state commissioner of police used the opportunity to commend the Inspector General of Police for finding the officers worthy of the promotion, just as he charged them to ensure transparency and good sense of judgment in the discharge of their responsibilities.
Responding on behalf of the newly promoted officers, SP Nnamdi Omoni, who is currently the public relations officer of the command, assured that they would do all within their reach to justify the confidence reposed in them.
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