National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh, has told federal investigators that he collected money from the office of the National Security Adviser.
This comes amidst reports that the EFCC has warned Falae, Odili, and Ladoja to refund all stolen cash or face trial and that the Commission has retrieved Dasuki’s memos to Jonathan while a former military governor refunded 60 per cent of what he received from the $2.1billion arms deal.
All politicians who shared in the allegedly diverted $2.1billion arms cash must return what they got or face trial, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said, while a former Military Administrator of Kaduna State, Gen. Lawal Jafaru Isa, has refunded 60 per cent of the money he allegedly collected from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), The Nation reports today.
According to the Nation newspaper, Metuh admitted the transfer of N400million into a company, Destra Investment Limited, in which he has substantial interest.
“So far, Metuh has admitted the transfer of N400 million by ONSA into a company in which he has substantial interest,” an EFCC source told the newspaper.
“It is left to him to justify why he deserved such benefit from arms cash. We are still questioning him on other remittances into the company’s account. We are also demanding how he will refund the cash,” the source said.
He added that, “Contrary to the noise outside, we did our homework very well. Anybody we bring to the EFCC this time around, we used to make sure that we have established a case against him”.’
The office of the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party has debunked allegations that the spokesman of the party, Olisa Metuh, received N1.4 billion and N4 million monthly stipend from the Office of the former National Security Adviser.
“These reports are completely false, mischievous and fabricated to mislead the public and derail the course of proper investigation on issues relating to Chief Metuh,” said a statement by Mr. Metuh’s media aide, Richard Ihediwa.
He said neither Mr. Metuh nor his office received the figures reported in the media.
Elombah.com had reported that Olisa Metuh is being investigated by the EFCC for allegedly collecting N400 million from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA). He is likely to be invited for interrogation. He was arrested last week and is still in detention.
Elombah.com also learnt EFCC had invited a former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, over the investigation.
A former Minister of State for Finance, Amb. Bashir Yuguda, named some PDP stalwarts as the beneficiaries of the cash from ONSA. In a Statement of Witness/ Caution, which he wrote on oath, Yuguda admitted to the EFCC that he gave N600million cash to six chairmen of the Contact and Mobilisation Committees of the PDP for the 2015 general election.
He listed the beneficiaries as Bode George( South-West); Amb. Yerima Abdullahi (North-East); Peter Odili (South-South); Attahiru Bafarawa (North-West); Jim Nwobodo (South -East) and North-Central (Ahmadu Ali). George, Nwobodo and Odili have denied collecting cash from Yuguda. George admitted that $30,000 was given to the South-West Contact and Mobilisation Committee.
Yuguda also said he instructed Jabbama Limited to transfer N300million to BAM Properties whose account was given to him by a former National Chairman of PDP, Bello Haliru. Bafarawa admitted that he collected N100million from Yuguda through Sagir Attahiru.
According to sources, EFCC decided on refund of cash after retrieving some of the memoranda which the embattled former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.), wrote to President Goodluck Jonathan to request for funds.
A top EFCC source said none of the memos seen so far indicated that the funds would be used for political purposes, party funding and the 2015 general election.
Based on the vetting of the memos and disbursement of money to PDP chieftains and other highly-placed Nigerians, the EFCC has drawn the battle line of either “you make a refund or face trial”.
Some of the beneficiaries of the cash include former governors Peter Odili (N100m); Rashidi Ladoja(N100m), Attahiru Bafarawa(N100m), Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi (N100m), and Jim Nwobodo(N500m).
Others are: Chief Tony Anenih(N260m); ex-PDP National Chairman Ahmadu Ali(N100m); Chief Bode George (N100m/ $30,000), Yerima Abdullahi (N100m); Chief Olu Falae (N100m); Tanko Yakassai (N63m); Gen. Bello Sarkin Yaki(N200m); Raymond Dokpesi, Iyorchia Ayu’s company(N345m); BAM Properties(N300m); Dalhatu Investment Limited(N1.5b); ex-PDP National Chairman Mohammed Bello Haliru, Abba Mohammed, Sagir Attahiru, serving and former members of the House of Representatives(over N600 million); former Chairman of the House of Representatives on Security and Intelligence, Bello Matawalle(N300m); ACACIA Holdings(N600m); Bashir Yuguda (N1,950,000) and many companies.
Based on the vetting, the EFCC is insisting that all those implicated so far must refund the “illegal disbursement” of cash to them or face trial.
A top EFCC source said: “We have conducted a thorough investigation and we have retrieved some of the memos sent to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan by the former National Security Adviser; none of them indicated that the cash should be for political purposes.
“There was never a memo for cash advance for political matters like campaign or election. “We have also traced some of these funds directly to the accounts of these bigwigs or their proxy companies. “Having gone far, we are asking them to return these funds or else, we will go after them any moment from now. I think they should respect themselves and make urgent refund.
“In the alternative, we will arrest them and arraign them in court to defend such strange allocations. We will retrieve every kobo given out from ONSA. It is insufficient to say somebody gave me this money. Once we trace undeserved public funds into your account or phony and proxy companies, we will ask for refund.”
Regarding the interrogation of Gen. Isa, the source added: “He admitted collecting money from ONSA and he has refunded 60 per cent of the sum credited to him. I think it should be about N100 million.
“Isa is the only person who has so far refunded money among the political figures who collected funds from ONSA. We have granted him bail to allow him time to source for the balance.”
The PDP had challenged the EFCC “to substantiate that Chief Metuh received the said N1.4 billion figure as well as make public any evidence that he ever received N4 million monthly stipend from the Office of the National Security Adviser.
“This office is deeply worried at the turnout of events since Tuesday when Chief Metuh was arrested and detained while fictitious figures continue to be bandied against him in the media.
“Chief Metuh, as a well-known citizen and a public figure, had always stated his readiness to honor any invitation by the EFCC or any agency of government for that matter on any issue regarding any allegations against him.
“This office is therefore persuaded that the continued detention of Chief Metuh is ostensibly part of the plot by the APC to silence or keep the opposition spokesperson out of circulation for obvious reasons of clipping the wings of the opposition PDP,” said the statement.
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