- The former spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh, has condemned the release looters list by FG
- Metuh said he is being burdened with two criminal trials on the same charge
- He also said the publication made by the federal government leaves him with no option than to defend his name and integrity
The past national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, has condemned the "looters list" released by the federal government on Friday, March 30.
Metuh in a statement on Saturday, March 31, said the publication made by the minister of information and culture on behalf of the FG is a breach on the constitution.
He said the publication only seeks to burden him with two criminal trials on the same charge - one before Justice Okon Abang and the other before the media.
Raising issues with the list published, Metuh said, he has been refrained from discussing his "persecution and travails by the government because as a lawyer, trained in the finest traditions of the Bar, I know that it is wrong to discuss a matter that is subjudice."
He however said that the recent move by the federal government leaves him with no option than to defend his name and integrity.
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"I have therefore decided to avail the public of the true state of the contrived case against me.
The charge against me is that I received the sum of N400 million from the Office of the National Security Adviser to carry out duties assigned to me as the then National Publicity Secretary of the PDP by then President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
"The major crux of the prosecution argument is that I ought to have known that the money was a part of an alleged and yet to be proven unlawful activity of Col Sambo Dasuki(rtd), former NSA to President Jonathan," Metuh said.
He added that the charge was brought before the court regardless of the fact that neither former president Goodluck Jonathan who gave him the assignment and directed the release of the funds nor Col Dasuki(rtd), who effected the release of the funds have ever been interrogated nor even interviewed in this regard.
He said that officers of the office of the National Security Adviser have also testified in court that the payment made to him followed all due process usually observed in the establishment.
"It is of interest to note that the prosecution has not alleged any mens rea or collusion on my part other than the suggestion that I 'ought to have known' of an alleged unlawful activity. Also the alleged illegality of the funds has neither been established in law nor in fact.
I have NEVER held a government office and/or position and could not therefore have had any access to government funds.
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In view of the weakness of the case against me, the APC led Federal Government resorted to all kinds of dirty tactics to dehumanise and intimidate me. They have done everything humanly possible to ensure complete persecution starting from bringing me to court in handcuffs (and parading the capture of Nigeria's most wanted) to media trials and constant interference with my case.
I have been reliably informed that the Federal Government has ordered a conviction at all cost to ensure that the PDP is tainted before the elections. The government's determination to achieve this objective is clearly highlighted by the refusal to allow me attend to my deteriorating health notwithstanding several expert medical opinion on the matter.
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By going to the media to name me a looter (without cross-checking the definition and dictionary meaning of the word), the federal government has not only given a body language but has issued a direct intimidation and threat to the judiciary to get a compulsory conviction.
It is now clear that the APC led government that thrives in impunity and intimidation of other arms of government will not allow justice to be done in my matter. It is incontrovertible that our country has descended into the worst form of draconian rule where the executive arm directly interferes and seeks to control and determine matters within the purview of the legislature and the judiciary.
In view of this unprecedented executive rascality and lawlessness, I have asked my lawyers to review the implications of this latest attack by the government and take appropriate steps for redress. In all, my faith is firm in God that this tyranny will not last forever and that no mortal is omnipotent in my matter," Metuh's statement concluded.
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Legit.ng earlier reported that the minister of information and culture had released a list of looters who are also members of the PDP during a press briefing in Lagos on Friday, March 30.
Lai Mohammed said the PDP has severally challenged the present administration to release the list.
He said member of the 'looters' who were part of the past government looted the Nigerian treasury dry.
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