The National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), chief Olisa Metuh, on Tuesday refuted reports published by a national daily, which stated that the PDP chieftain was in the Federal High Court Abuja on Monday March 7, 2016, “to show support” for the former Chief of Defence Staff, retired Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh.
A statement signed by counsel to Olisa, Barr. Emeka Etiaba (SAN), who described the reports as mischievous and misleading, noted that such reports were engineered by ill-willed persons in order to undermine the reputation of Metuh.
Etiaba said that although Metuh was in court on the said day, he was however not in court for the reasons suggested in the report, but was in court because his case was adjourned to the same date.
The statement read in full: “Our attention has been drawn to mischievous and misleading pictures and stories in the Punch newspapers, claiming that our client, Chief Olisah Metuh, was in the Federal High Court Abuja on Monday, March 7, 2016 “to show support” for the former Chief of Defence Staff, retired Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh.
“This is false, mischievous and contrived to mislead the public and undermine the reputation of our client. Let us state, for the record, that Chief Metuh was in court on the day in question, being the adjourned date for the civil suit he filed against his unlawful detention by the EFCC. It was purely coincidental that the former CDS was also being arraigned in the same courtroom on that day. This explains our client’s presence in the same courtroom with the former CDS.
“Our client was in court with his lawyers and his case was heard in the open court, as witnessed by the public and journalists, including the Punch reporter and photo-journalist, wherein Justice Abang deferred the judgment to Wednesday March 9, 2016. It is therefore baffling and disappointing that the Punch correspondent, being fully aware of the foregoing facts, went beyond his brief and the ethics of his profession to invent and publish distortions against our client.
“We are persuaded that this is a deliberate delivery by a procured agent, designed to cause harm to our client and misrepresent him in the minds of the public. We invite Nigerians to recall, consistent with a pattern of fabrications against our client, that the EFCC later recanted its earlier false claim that Chief Metuh ate his written statement at the EFCC office.
“We also invite Nigerians to note the mischief directed at the person of Chief Metuh, using a section of the media, in the bid to paint him in bad light and possibly derail the course of justice. But this is in vain, as the matter is before a court of competent jurisdiction.
“Finally, we urge the media to please end the unnecessary sensationalization of issues and ensure that facts are cross-checked before publication.”