Chief Doyin Okupe,a former Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan has appeared before a Federal High Court in Abuja to testify in defence of the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olisa Metuh.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is prosecuting Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited on seven counts, including alleged fraudulent collection of N400m from the Office of the National Security Adviser in November 2014.
Metuh and his firm allegedly used the fund for the PDP’s presidential campaign ahead of the 2015 election.
Among other charges preferred against the defendants were money laundering allegations involving a cash transaction of $2m without passing through a financial institution.
Okupe, who appeared before Justice Okon Abang as the third defence witness, said the payment of the N400m to Metuh by the NSA office was authorised by Jonathan.
He said the instruction given by Jonathan for the payment of the money to Metuh, followed a presentation which Metuh’s campaign team made to the then President at the Presidential Villa.
Okupe, who was led in evidence by the lead defence counsel, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), said he attended the meeting during which a consultant engaged by Metuh made the presentation for the PDP’s campaign strategy.
He said Jonathan himself told him after the meeting that he had authorised the payment of the N400m to Metuh.
The witness said, “After the usual exchange of pleasantries, Mr. President (Jonathan) gave a short briefing in line with what I said earlier.
“He then asked Olisa Metuh and his consultant to make their presentation which they did. After the presentation, there were comments from those who attended the meeting.
“The presentation was approved for action and the President said Mr. Metuh would be given part of the money that was in budget for the execution of the project. We all left.
“I know from two sources that Mr. Metuh got the money. The first source was the President himself who told me that he had instructed that Chief Metuh be mobilized, and that was during breakfast with Mr. President one morning.
“He told me that he had instructed that Chief Metuh be mobilised with N400m. The following day, very early in the morning, I got a call from Chief Metuh who told me that he had received N400m from the President.”