The fear of a possible arrest by security agencies has gripped the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Olisa Metuh.
At a crowded press conference at his office in Abuja on Tuesday, Metuh admitted undertook a special assignment for President Goodluck Jonathan during his term of office and was paid for it.
But Metuh refused to disclose the job or what he was paid for doing it, and didn't allow the reporters to ask any questions after the short briefing.
"In the course of my duties as the National Publicity Secretary of our party, the then leader of our party and President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria invited me and directed that I carry out some assignment relating to my office and which he duly funded,” was all he said.
He added, “It is important to note that the former President was fully satisfied with the way and manner I handled the assignment," as if the satisfaction of Mr. Jonathan meant the arrangement was justified and legal.
SaharaReporters has however been informed by government investigators looking into how the former regime diverted funds into the pockets of private party members and they said that Mr. Metuh’s alarm is based on the discovery that he received N450million from former President Goodluck Jonathan to mobilize the media for his re-election in 2015.
The monies, a security source noted, were never used for the purpose for which they was provided. They said Metuh promised to do a media tour and meet with editors, but only visited Daily Trust newspaper.
Our sources confirmed that Mr. Metuh, who has served two terms as the PDP National Publicity Secretary, had been billed to work with the party’s Board of Trustees chairman, Anthony Anenih.
However, when Mr. ‘Fix-It’ Anenih met Metuh, the party boss told Metuh he was already working with six editors at one of his properties in Abuja and demanded that Metuh pay rent to him to work from that site, an offer Metuh declined.
The investigators said they found a small amount was paid to a company, CMC Connect, as consultants for the perception management of President Jonathan’s failed campaign. The security agencies said Mr. Metuh diverted most of the monies released to him, thereby leading to his being ostracized by President Jonathan who then brought an outside gunslinger, Femi Fani-Kayode, to man his publicity section for him.
When SaharaReporters reached out to Mr. Metuh, he said that as a “loyal” party man, he would not disclose any details of his “assignment for the President,” a phrase reminiscent of the rigging of the Ekiti governorship polls in which Deputy Minister Musiliu Obanikoro kept telling co-conspirators on the eve of the election he was on “assignment” for Mr. Jonathan.
Metuh however told our correspondent he was raising an alarm was because his life was in danger by elements close to the Buhari regime, alleging that several attempts have already been made on his life and that he has hidden from his family to avoid alarming them, especially his wife.
He denied receiving any monies from the former National Security Adviser, Rtd. Col. Sambo Dasuki, affirming only his assignment for Mr. Jonathan.
Security agencies are accusing Metuh of buying real estate properties in Dubai from the Jonathan payment, but the party spokesman denies the charge, saying he has been in the property business in Dubai since 2005.
Mr. Metuh told SaharaReporters that he has not yet been invited by any security agency to discuss the allegations against him, saying he was hearing about the N450m allegation from us for the first time.