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.
Monarch Lauds Wike Over Anti-Cultism Unit
The Eze Ali Omokpirikwu, Eze Okechuwku Okah, has commended the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike for the siting of the antti-cultism unit in Elele.
Eze Okah, who said this during a courtesy call on him by a non governmental organization: Elele Voice in his palace also commended the Governor for upgrading the Elele traditional stool to first class.
He said that the sitting of the anticultism unit in the community has made the area to be more secured for business activities.
According to him, the administration of Governor Wike is unprecedented especially in the areas of security, infrastructure and sanitation.
The traditional ruler who particularly commended the Governor for the unveiling of the Operation Sting security outfit, stressed that by the unveiling, the Governor has shown that Rivers State has no place for criminals adding that the Governor needs more supports to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.
Eze Okah also told them that his decision to donate transformers to the community was to ensure constant power supply as over 20 communties in Elele have not had power supply in the last five years.
Earlier, the leader of the group, Mr Smart Johnson said that the group was in his palace to thank him for the donation of transformers to Elele community.
Johnson said that the kind gesture has restored the economy of the area, adding that the group would not relent in mobilizing support for the traditional ruler.
Meanwhile, the Deputy leader of Ikwerre Legislative Assembly, Hon. Amadi Jacob has called on the police authorities to investigate the alleged extortion activities of men of Operation Sting along the Elele-Owerri road.
Speaking in an interview with newsmen, he said that the activities of the police officers have brought shame to the people and advised the outfit to resist the temptation of being compromised in the performance of their duties.
We’re Making Progress Against Banditry -CAS
The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Saddique Abrubaka, says the military has substantially contained emerging banditry in some parts of the country in addition to the successes recorded in the fight against insurgency in the North East.
Abubakar said this on Tuesday in an interview with newsmen in Yola.
Abubakar was in Yola to celebrate the Eid-el-Kabir with officers and men of the Air Task Force, engaged in the fight against insurgency in the north east.
He said the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) would continue to motivate its personnel to boost their morale in the task of keeping Nigeria and the society safe.
“We are making progress and all hands most be on deck to address the challenges, particularly the new challenge of banditry,” he said.
According to him, the NAF has established the quick Response Units in some states to bring security closer to the people.
The CAS lauded Nigerians for their understanding and urged the public to do more in terms of volunteering timely relevant information to security agencies.
He noted that the provision of adequate and effective security information to relevant authorities was the obligation of all Nigerians.
“I want to emphasize that security is not just about security agencies; everybody has a role to play to ensure Nigeria is secured,” Abubakar said.
While reiterating the commitment of NAF to ensuring the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Nigeria, the CAS lauded the Federal Government for doing a lot in equipping NAF in terms of aircraft and training to discharge its responsibility.
He lauded the performances of officers and men of the air task force, pointing out that his decision of always marking festive periods with them at the frontline was among others, to appreciate them and boost their morale to do more in discharging their assigned tasks.
Bus Driver Commits Suicide At Mechanic Workshop In Lagos
The Lagos State Police Command says a 43-year-old commercial bus driver has been found dead at a mechanic workshop after allegedly taking a liquid substance suspected to be sniper.
The spokesman for the command, DSP Bala Elkana, confirmed the incident in a statement on Monday.
Elkana said the Shomolu Pedro Police Station received an information that one Kabiru Bello of No. 77, Owode Ibeshe, Ikorodu, Lagos State, allegedly drank a liquid substance suspected to be sniper.
He said that the incident happened on Saturday at about 12.56p.m inside his Volkswagen commercial bus with registration number AKD-724 XM while at a mechanic workshop at Ladylack Bus stop, Shomolu.
“He was rushed to Adesola clinic, Shomolu, where he was confirmed dead. Homicide detectives visited the scene. One empty bottle of chemical substances suspected to be sniper was recovered.
“The corpse has been deposited in mortuary for autopsy,” he said.
Similarly, the police at Ilemba Hausa area of Lagos have recovered two locally made single barrel guns with 12 cartridges, one laptop and one mobile phone inside a vehicle abandoned by suspected robbers.
The police spokesman said the recovery was made on Saturday at about 9.30 p.m. after the Ilemba Hausa Police Station received a distress call that one Wale Lawal was dispossessed of his laptop by some armed robbers.
Elkana said the policemen deployed to the scene gave the hoodlums “a hot chase where the suspected robbers abandoned their black Honda vehicle with registration number KJA-705 BU containing the recovered items.
“The vehicle was moved to the station for further investigation.” he said.
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