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Metuh restates readiness to return N400m

The embattled former National Publicity Secretary of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has restated his readiness to refund the entire N400 million paid to him by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan for image laundering stunt prior to the 2015 Presidential election even as he declared support for the fight against corruption by the present administration.

Metuh, whose position was made known in a statement by his counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) on Thursday said he was willing to refund the entire N400 million regardless of the fact that the money had already been expended on the directive of the former President and that the EFCC had already recovered part of the fund from a prosecution witness. The counsel confirmed that the defence team 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.

Ikpeazu said it has become obvious from the evidence of prosecution and defence witnesses that at the time the money was released to Metuh after his presentation to the ex-President, he had no knowledge of the source but 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 “When the matter first came up and Chief Metuh was invited to the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) 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. “It was however while in court that a document was brought regarding the source of the money and since then, our Client has made manifest his willingness to refund the money and has indeed approached his family, friends and associates to mobilise 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.

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