Mr. Ben Nwosu, Counsel to former PDP spokesman, Olisa Metuh, has faulted alleged reports that money was paid to media houses or their representatives to launder the image of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Nwosu in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja said the clarification was important due to a misleading report in a section of the media in the case of the controversial N400m involving Metuh.
He said the report suggested that Mr. Richard Ihediwa, the fifth defence witness, told the court that money was paid to media houses or their representatives to launder Jonathan’s image.
“This report is highly embarrassing and does not in any way reflect the testimony and evidence of Metuh’s fifth defence witness, Mr. Richard Ihediwa, in the court.
“What the witness told the court was that the sum paid into his account by Metuh was for payments for sundry advertorials placed by Metuh in various media houses.
“The witness had earlier laid a proper foundation that media advertorials from the PDP were placed and paid for by the National Publicity Secretary.
“That the payment was mostly in cash or through bank transfers to the media houses, through their representatives covering the party.
“The witness, who is Special Assistant to our client, stated directly and clearly that all the payments to the media were for advertorials.
“He said that paying for advertorials through representatives of the media houses was the normal practice in the media industry,’’ the lawyer said.
Nwosu said the witness went ahead to present documents, including bank tellers, to justify the payments.
“The records of the court are clear in this regard. Furthermore, when he was cross- examined regarding the appearance of names of some journalists in the payment tellers, the witness stated clearly that the payments were for advertorials placed in their respective media houses.
“He showed documents to justify the payments, in line with the practice in the media industry.”
He said that at no point throughout his testimony did the witness tell the court that any media house or any representative/staff of any media house was paid to launder Jonathan’s image.
“We find this particularly painful. Since the arrest and arraignment of our client, he had never attempted in any way to drag in any individual and/or organisation in connection with his travail,” Nwosu said.
However, he urged reporters covering the court to ensure accurate reportage of events and proceedings.
“We regret the embarrassment the unfortunate report must have caused the respective media houses or persons mentioned in the said misleading reports,” Nwosu said. (NAN)