In a way, the immediate past National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olisa Metuh, may have admitted his wrongdoing in collecting N400m from the office of the National Security Adviser, which he is currently charged for by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
By agreeing to refund the N400m he allegedly collected from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Lt.Col. Sabo Dasuki (retd), he may have tactically admitted guilt.
His family in a press statement on Thursday, which was issued by Gilbert Metuh, on behalf of the Metuh family, said his brother’s life was in danger because of the alleged N400m.
He said his brother is suffering from spinal cord injury and said the family was prepared to refund the said money so as the court to free him to enable him seek medical attention abroad
Chief Metuh had sought for court permission to travel abroad for surgical operation but was turned down on Wednesday.
In a judgment by Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court, Abuja, where Metuh is facing trial on the alleged collection of the N400, in refusing Metuh’s application said: “This is not a case of sympathy, but a case of law. This court has no jurisdiction to entertain this application,”
“The court is not Father Christmas to give to the defendant what it did not ask for.
“The application lacks merit. It is accordingly dismissed. The court cannot set aside its decision.”
He said because there was a subsisting order directing Metuh to deposit his international passport with the chief registrar of the High Court as part of his bail conditions, his hands were tied to grant the request.
He added that Metuh through his counsel did not apply to vary the bail conditions.
However in a statement in Abuja, Gilbert said that the family was aware that the matter regarding their son was still in court but said the family was only reacting to issues that were in public domain.
He said: “Since his (Metuh’s) arrest and even up to about a week ago, our son has made several overtures to the arresting authority for him to refund the money since they now claim in court that it came from government coffers. All efforts have been unsuccessful.
“It is instructive that out of over 300 names listed as having received money from the ONSA, all those who offered to refund money were not arraigned in court.
“Our son is the only one whose offer to refund money was rejected and has been arraigned in court and his case given accelerated hearing. On each trial date the hostility in the courtroom is palpable”, he added.