In a bid to establish his innocence, Metuh, who is facing trial alongside his company, Destra Investment Limited, over alleged N400 million fraud, produced his first witness to testify before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja. The witness, DW-1, Mr. Ike Abonyi, who identified himself as a journalist and Media Consultant to the PDP, narrated before the court, events that led to the alleged transfer of N400 million into Metuh’s company account, prior to the 2015 presidential election. Abonyi, who said he was part of the media team engaged to help and “repackage the battered image of the PDP,” told the court that he attended the meeting where former President Goodluck Jonathan directed Metuh to submit his corporate account for money to be “dropped” into it to enhance campaign activities of the party.
Led in evidence by Metuh’s lawyer, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, the witness said ex-President Jonathan gave the directive after he watched a presentation that was made by a team of media experts constituted by Metuh to launder his image before the general election. He said the team was headed by the Managing Director of a public relations firm, CNC Connect, Mr. Yomi Badejo. Abonyi told the court that Jonathan was moved to act after the team, during its presentation, informed him that his public image was in bad shape. He said the candid appraisal of the image of the ex-President by his team did not go down well with the then media aide to the President, Dr. Reuben Abati, who he said took it as an indictment on his office.