January 13, 2016

$2.1bn arms scandal: Metuh in fresh trouble with EFCC for tearing own statement



By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor

As concerns grow among his party leaders and supporters for his release from week-long detention, the embattled spokesman for the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh, reportedly ran into a fresh trouble with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for tearing his voluntary statement to the commission.

Metuh, who was arrested, last week, for questioning over allegation that he received N400 million of the $2.1 billion arms cash from the Office of National Security Adviser, ONSA, reportedly tore the statement he volunteered earlier to the operatives investigating him.

A top source in the Commission told Vanguard, last night, that a desperate Metuh had resorted to the act when he realised that his ‘hunger strike’ had not softened the resolve of the agency to keep him in custody pending arraignment.

The suspect, competent sources disclosed, was presented with copies of his statement to endorse by the investigating officer, but rather than sign the document, Metuh on realising the weight of his confession, seized the documents and proceeded to tear them.

Metuh was said to be contemplating stuffing the papers into his mouth in a bid to swallow them when he was stopped by operatives, who managed to recover the torn pieces of papers from the PDP spokesman.

A source said the action of Metuh in trying to destroy major evidence in the case was an offence which could attract a separate charge in court.
An official of the EFCC said last night: “The tearing of statement is tantamount to wilful destruction of government property and it is a serious offence.

“Also, the fact that he obstructed operatives from performing their job is also a criminal offence. We will explore the possibility of filing a separate charge against him at the Federal Capital Territory High Court,” the source said.

The development came on a date the PDP caucus in the National Assembly gave the EFCC 48 hours to release or charge Metuh to court or face its wrath without taking into consideration the weight of his alleged offence.

The action of the PDP caucus runs contrary to the Deputy Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Abdullahi Jalko, who, Monday, disowned Metuh and other PDP chieftains, who used their companies to obtain money from the ONSA.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, Jalo asked Metuh and others named in the scandal to answer for their actions, as the party did not send them to obtain the said huge sums of money for any purpose.

Jalo also asked former President Jonathan to come out and speak on the matter, as he was alive and should not keep sealed lips over the controversial issue that had dampened Nigeria’s image.

The PDP had, however, distanced itself from Jalo, saying that he was on his own over the statement he made against Jonathan, Metuh and other party faithful, now standing trials.