THE fifth defence witness Mr Richard Ihediwa, in the ongoing trial of the embattled former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, on Wednesday told a Federal High Court in Abuja that former President Goodluck Jonathan released the sum of N400 million to shore up his image ahead of the 2015 general elections.
At the resumed trial yesterday, the witness told the court that ex-president Jonathan personally informed Metuh that the sum of N400 million had been released to redeem his battered image using media publicity ahead of the 2015 general election.
Ihediwa, who gave detailed account during cross examination by counsel to Destra Investment Limited (the second defendant in the matter), Mr Torchukwu Onwugbufor (SAN), said, “I was with Metuh when the former president called him that he has released the sum N400 million for the assignment. The money was released because of the challenges Jonathan had concerning his image.
“There was the need to shore up his image before the 2015 general elections and the money was used for that purpose. We used the money for public enlightenment and advocacy using the media.
“I am aware that Metuh made little payment to various groups as well as media houses made up of electronic and print in line with the directive of former President Jonathan to accomplish the task,” the witness told the court.
The witness confirmed that after carrying out all the payment in line with the directives of Jonathan, Metuh was not indebted to anybody.
The matter was adjourned till December 1, 2016 for continuation of trial.
Metuh and his company, Destra Investment Limited are being tried for allegedly collecting N400 million from the $2.1 billion meant for the procurement of arms to equip the armed forces to fight Boko Haram insurgency in the North Eastern part of the country.