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N400m FRAUD | Witness never indicted media houses – Olisa Metuh

by on November 26, 2016
 

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.

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“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.

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“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.

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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.

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