A counsel to embattled former Peoples Democratic Party spokesman, Chief Olisa Metuh, Barr. Ben Chuks Nwosu has refuted media reports claiming that a witness in the N400m arms fraud accused his client, Mr Metuh of paying some media houses to launder former President Goodluck Jonathan’s image.
Nwosu made the rebuttal yesterday in a statement on Saturday in which he said that report was highly embarrassing and did not in any way reflect the testimony and evidence of the Fifth Defence witness, Mr. Richard Ihediwa, in the court.
According to the counsel, what the witness said was that the monies were paid for advertorials in the media outfits.
“Our attention has been drawn to a misleading report in a section of the media suggesting that the Fifth Defence Witness in the case involving our client, Chief Olisa Metuh, told the court that money was paid to media houses or their representatives from the controversial N400 million to launder the image of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
“This report is highly embarrassing and does not in any way reflect the testimony and evidence of the Fifth Defence witness, Mr. Richard Ihediwa in the court.
“What the witness told the court was that the sum paid into his account by Chief Metuh, who was National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the time was for payments for sundry advertorials placed by Chief Metuh in various media houses,” he said.
Nwosu stated that the witness had earlier laid a proper foundation that media advertorials from the PDP were placed and paid for by the National Publicity Secretary, mostly in cash or through bank transfers to the media house through their representatives covering the party.
“The witness, who is Special Assistant to our client, stated directly and clearly that all the payments to the media were for advertorials, and that paying through representatives of the media houses was the normal practice in the media industry. He went ahead to present documents including bank tellers to justify the payments. The records of the court are clear in this regard.
“Furthermore, when questioned under-cross examination regarding the appearance of names of some journalists in the payment tellers, the witness stated clearly that the payments were for advertorial placed in their respective media houses and showed documents to justify the payments in line with the practice in the media industry,” Nwosu said.
The counsel said at no point throughout Ihediwa’s testimony did he tell the court that any media house or any representative/staff of any media house was paid in whatever form to launder the image of the former President as suggested in the misleading report.