Sunday, 1 April 2018

Looters’ List: Former PDP chieftain, Olisa Metuh condemns Lai Mohammed

Former PDP chieftain, Olisa Metuh condemns Lai Mohammed

The former spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh has condemned the minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed for including his name in the recently released looters’ list.

The minister presented the list to newsmen during a press conference in Lagos on Friday, March 30, 2018.

The list includes: The current PDP chairman, Uche Secondus, former PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, and PDP chieftain, Raymond Dokpesi.

Other names on the list are: Dudafa Waripamo-Owei, a former aide to former president, Goodluck Jonathan, who is listed as being on trial for allegedly keeping over N830 million in accounts of four different companies; and the former president's cousin, Robert Azibaola, who recently had a Federal High Court ruling decide that he has a case to answer for allegedly collecting $40 million from ONSA and a former PDP Financial Secretary who also allegedly took N600 million from ONSA on October 24, 2018.

Breach of constitution

Speaking further on the list, Metuh said that Mohammed’s action is a breach of the constitution.

He also criticised the minister for publicly discussing an issue that is still in the court.

Metuh said “I have been refrained from discussing this 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.

“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.

“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.

“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.

“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.

ALSO READ: Saraki, Amaechi, over 50 others make PDP's looters list

“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.”

PDP chairman threatens Lai Mohammed

Meanwhile, the PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus has challenged Lai Mohammed to be ready to prove his allegation that the he collected N200m from the purse of the National Security Adviser (NSA).

Secondus said that the agenda of the minister was to damage his reputation and distract him from serving PDP, adding that such agenda would fail woefully.

Also, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a statement issued by it spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, has described the list of alleged “looters” published by the Federal Government as “hollow and laughable”.

Looters’ List: Former PDP chieftain, Olisa Metuh condemns Lai Mohammed