A former Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to ex- President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Doyin Okupe, testifying for the accused, Wednesday, said that the former Pesident Goodluck Jonathan, approved the payment of N400 million to Olisa Metuh.
Okupe stated this before a Federal High Court in Abuja, in the trial of Chief Olisa Metuh, the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who is standing trial for allegedly receiving N400m from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
Okupe, the defence witness said the approval of Metuh’s proposal and immediate payment of the project fund was given by the former President in November 2014.
“Sometime in November 2014, some members of the cabinet and party members were called for a crucial meeting with the President where issues of great national importance were discussed.
“I remember vividly that on that fateful day, Chief Metuh presented a proposal to the President immediately after the meeting.
“The President also gave approval for the payment of N400 million to Metuh,’’ Okupe said.
Okupe added that the money was to be used for enhancement of Jonathan’s negative public perception before the 2015 general election.
He said as the leader of the PDP and its presidential candidate, the former President enjoyed tremendous goodwill, saying that several actions were to support the PDP.
According to Okupe, such goodwill was demonstrated at the fund raising ceremony organised at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, before the election, in which about N21 billion was raked in.
“I am therefore surprised to hear that the Office of the National Security Adviser was used to distribute money for Jonathan’s presidential campaign.
“However, the President could also use his tremendous goodwill to source funds to assist his party or help to execute special programmes.
“Besides, as the candidate for election, the President has immense capacity to raise funds as a candidate. He did not use any government establishment as his pseudo-sponsor,’’ the former presidential aide said at the hearing.