Metuh and his company, Destra Investment Limited, are being tried for unlawfully receiving N400 million from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and allegedly engaging in money laundering.
After several unsuccessful attempts by Metuh’s lawyer to stall the proceedings, the embattled PDP spokesman opened his defence.
Metuh’s lawyer Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) called in his first witness, Ike Ogbonnna, who claimed to be a journalist and media consultant to ex-Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman Dr. Okwesileze Nwodo.
He gave details how Metuh was paid by former President Goodluck Jonathan to “help repackage the battered image of the PDP” during the run off to the 2015 general election.
Ogbonna said after a presentation by CMC Connect’s MD Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, Jonathan was pleased and urged Metuh to provide an account details for image laundering fund.
“At that point, the President told Chief Metuh that he has done a good job, but that the real job is still out there to put these into action and told him to bring a corporate account to him for mobilisation and action,” Ogbonna said.
When asked if he knew how the Office of the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, headed by Metuh, was funded, Ogonna said: “The extent that I operated as Media adviser there and as a political journalist that is familiar with political activities, I am aware that the funding of the Office of the National Publicity Secretary come mainly from the party and leader of the party, who happened to be President Goodluck Jonathan at the time,” Ogbonna said.
Under cross-examination by the prosecution, Ogbonna said he was not privy to the source of the money paid for the job they did, but “Chief Metuh told me that the President called him and said the money had been paid. I was not paid as an individual.’’
The Judge adjourned further hearing to April 20.