The Federal High Court, Abuja, has admitted in evidence, the final account tendered by Olisa Metuh, former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Metuh tendered the document on Tuesday at the resumed hearing, detailing how the sum of the N400 million for which he is standing trial, was spent on a special national assignment.
Metuh who was led in evidence by his counsel, Mr Abel Ozioko submitted that the money was used for a special national assignment given to him by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The court also admitted in evidence, media publications where, in response to Metuh’s arrest and arraignment in 2016, the leadership of the PDP affirmed that the PDP did not in any way benefit from the fund.
This, he said was contrary to allegations that it was used for political activities of the party.
The documents were admitted and marked as exhibits 21 and 22.
Metuh had earlier tendered a document detailing disbursements, names and signatures of individuals who received funds in execution of the national assignment which was admitted and marked as exhibit 20.
Metuh told the court that no part of the N400 million was spent on any activity of the PDP, contrary to the claims of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, ( EFCC).
He said that his record of account and receipts of payments showed that the entire fund was used for the national assignment as directed by President Jonathan.
“No part of the N400 million was spent on any activity of the PDP.
“The record of account and all the expenditure made, with receipts, bearing the names of those who received funds show that the entire N400 million was expended in execution of the special national assignment.
“President Jonathan had always insisted that the party must not benefit from government funding and that no government fund or asset must be used to promote or support the activities of the party,” Metuh said.
Continuing in his evidence, Metuh cleared 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.
“Such individuals include respected professionals in various fields, including university lecturers and I will not want them to suffer the embarrassment of unnecessary negative media report and misrepresentations at the time.
“Exhibit 20 contains the names of professionals who worked with me and received funds in execution of the assignment.
“They accepted to participate in the assignment due to the confidence and trust they have in my integrity, 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 are any questions, repercussions, refunds or persecution to be suffered in that regard, it should be directed at me personally, Metuh said.
The trial judge, Justice Okon Abang adjourned the matter until May 27, 28 and 30, 2019 for continuation of trial.
Metuh is standing trial for allegedly receiving the sum of N400 million from the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, monies earmarked for the purchase of arms at the heat of the Boko Haram insurgency.
He was also accused of transacting with cash of $2 million without going through a final institution in violation of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act.
Five Feared Killed In Fresh Kaduna Attack
A Sunday evening attack by gunmen on Unguwan Magaj community in Kauru Local Council of Kaduna State may have left four indigenes dead and 36 homes torched.
But the bravery of the youths reportedly led to the death of one of the attackers and confiscation of his handset.
Useful information was said to have been retrieved from the phone that had allegedly been handed over to the police.
In a statement yesterday, the National Public Relations Officer of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), Luka Biniyat, said: “The invaders, who came by 6:45 pm yesterday (Sunday) from behind the hills that serve as the boundary of Kaduna State and Ganawuri, Plateau State, were numbered over a 100.
“They attacked from four flanks, causing pandemonium among unsuspecting villagers as the youths tried to fend them off.”
He continued: “After about 30 minutes of violence, the following were unfortunately killed: Mrs Hanatu Joseph, 58, mother of five children; Mrs Sarah Sunday, 40, she left behind her husband and six children.
“The others are: Mrs Dije Sajay, 55, married with six children; and Mr Sunday David, 47, married with seven children. He was a retrenched civil servant.”
He noted: “The attackers targeted food stores and bans of grains, making sure they burnt as much as they could. This is to ostensibly cause starvation, especially under this lockdown from the Coronavirus.
“Police and soldiers came into Unguwan Magaji only this morning (yesterday) around 9 am and saw the corpse of the dead herdsman, which they later took away.”
Besides, Biniyat said: “Early this month yesterday, Ibrahim Atiga, 42, a native of Unguwan Magaji, was killed by herdsmen on his way to the farm. He has since been buried.”
COVID-19: Nigerian Correctional Service Receives 2nd Batch Of PPE
The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), Lagos State Command, yesterday said the state government had released the second batch of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the service.
The Spokesman of the command, Supt. Rotimi Oladoku, made this known in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.
The Tide reports that the items donated were hand gloves, face marks, inferred thermometers and sanitisers.
Oladokun said the gesture was part of the preventive measures taken by the state government, especially at custodial centers, to contain the spread of the virus.
“The first set of the PPE was released to the command on March 27 and the command also received the second bath on April 20,” he said.
According to Oladokun, the Lagos State NCoS Controller, Mr Sam Iyakoregha, received the items on behalf of the Controller-General of NCoS, Ahmed Ja’afaru.
“The NCoS thanks the Lagos State government for this tremendous support. The NCoS is well positioned to prevent COVID-19 in the custodial centres,” he said.
I’ll Give Special Attention To Respect For Citizens’ Fundamental Rights – CP …Citizens Set Agenda For Him
The new Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr Joseph Mukan has said that he would give special attention to respect for citizens’ fundamental human rights in the state.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the Rivers State Police Command, DSP Nnamdi Omoni and made available to newsmen last Monday in Port Harcourt .
The statement said that Mr Mukan would rekindle the people’s confidence in the police and as well reposition the command for efficiency and productivity.
According to the statement, the new Police Commissioner would be expected to work with humility and integrity as part of efforts to command a better police force in the state.
It further revealed that the Rivers police boss has an impeccable track record in crime fighting, thus the trust to make good his promises.
The Rivers State Commissioner of Police, however, through the statement, solicited for cooperation in terms of information sharing from the people in order to help the command to serve them better.
Meanwhile, some members of the public have called on the new Police Commissioner to remain neutral and face his primary assignment of policing.
A Port Harcourt-Based lawyer, Emperor Nnaoma, who spoke in an interview with The Tide , yesterday, said Mr Mukan must pay priority attention to his core mandate of crime fighting, if he wants to succeed in the state.
Nnaoma, recalled that previous Commissioners of Police who went outside their major task never ended well in the state.
In his view, the Eze Oha Evo III of Evo Kingdom, King Leslie N Eke, said the Commissioner should make out time to check the activities of some of his men who allow themselves into chieftaincy issues in the communities.
The Eze Gbakagbaka/Nyerisi Eli Woji, said that such interference has divided the attention of some police officers in the state as they are always tempted to dance to the tune of their pay masters.
By: King Onunwor
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