Olisa Metuh

The only redeeming aspect of the recent Metuh meltdown is his public acknowledgment of the important place that the war on corruption occupies in the rebuilding of our nation. His affirmation of support for the anti-corruption campaign is analogous to the eating of the humble pie – an act which I hope will be wisely embraced by Metuh’s ilks and their criminal cabal.


One of the most peculiar characters of today’s Nigerian politics is Olisa Metuh, the immediate past publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He ranks up there in nuisance value with the likes of Bukola Saraki, Ayodele Fayose, Nnamdi Kanu, Timi Frank, Femi Fani-Kayode, Tompolo, and Shehu Sani. Arguably, there may be others just like them, whose infamy constitute a total embarrassment to the Nigerian nation. What these individuals share in common is the malady of self-delusion. To boot, each of these fellows and persons of their ilk pose a pernicious threat to the Nigeria of our dreams. They are rapacious, arrogant, empty and wily in all of their ways. Their scheming ways hang like an albatross on the conscience of the nation, and sad to say that these are the same species who shamefacedly aspire to lead us.

Dominating the news circuit during the week however, has been the offer by Olisa to refund N400 million he corruptly received from the Sambo Dasuki defence fund heist in lieu of jail time. And as wonders will never end as long as there are people walking the earth, he is said to have restated “his continued support for the anti-corruption campaign, which is necessary to ensure probity in the affairs of Nigeria to the extent that it is conducted within the rule of law.” Really? Did he ever support the campaign? How and When?

Speaking through his lawyer, Olisa feigned ignorance of the source of the largesse that found its way into his Diamond Bank account, and even made a limp reference in an attempt to put the monkey on the back of former President Goodluck Jonathan who he claimed ordered the release of the funds to him.

“Our client had every cause to believe that the money was from the ex-President to whom he made presentation, received directives and rendered report and accounts accordingly,” Olisa’s lawyer, Emeka Etiaba said. He told reporters that his client had ever been willing to make refunds if his loot was from government coffers, not minding that the money had been expended as directed by the former president. “Officials of the ONSA (Office of the National Security Adviser) never got back to him as promised, until his arrest by the EFCC in January 2016,” he said.

Etiaba talked of the efforts made by his client, Olisa Metuh to mobilise funds from his friends and family to make the refunds once the source of the N400 million received by the former national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was made manifest. “In this whole saga, he has been an unfortunate victim of circumstances. His refunding the money therefore goes to show his support for the anti-corruption war, as well as serve as a testament to his sincerity, integrity and honesty in this matter.”

Flash back to last January when an embattled Olisa Metuh dared his interrogators as he allegedly tore up and attempted to stuff into his mouth an official document containing a statement which he voluntarily made to investigators – a crime – for which he was additionally charged. And EFCC account of the recalcitrance and violent disposition of Metuh during his arrest and interrogation contradicts Lawyer Etiaba’s portrayal of his client as the victim rather than the victimiser. His client, Metuh is notorious for not only being combative but hopelessly arrogant. According the then Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, the accused person was demonstrating reluctance to refund the money “even after admitting receiving it from Mr. Dasuki.

Magu told a gathering of online media publishers in Lagos that: “From the records, Metuh got over N400 million, he has not said anything because we need the money to be returned so that it’s going to be used for public good.” And in prison, the wardens talked of Metuh’s ill-temper and as a precautionary measure to protect themselves from a volcanic Metuh, and Metuh from himself, he had to be shackled and was brought to court in handcuffs during every appearance.

To the prison staff and law enforcement, intelligence report confirmed Olisa Metuh’s proclivity for violence. In 2011, Metuh, then National vice chairman of the PDP for the South-East was alleged to have supervised the punching and kicking of teachers at a grade school – the pricey British Nigerian Academy in Abuja where his son, Derrick was a former ward. Various reports had it that the rogue politician had ordered and supervised the assault of the teachers, including the 67-year-old vice principal, Mr. Kola Pele, over his son’s flouting of a school regulation that barred the making of phone calls in the hostel and resulted in the seizure of the Derrick’s mobile phone.

I recommend, as a deterrent, that not only should the Nigerian authorities accept the “magnanimity” of the offer to refund the N400 million of public funds but that Metuh should still be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. As a matter of fact, the likes of Olisa Metuh are the reason why Nigeria is overdue for Special Courts for special crimes such as corruption.


On arriving at the school premises following a distress call from his wife, Kanayo, Metuh invaded the school with his so-called aides who were nothing short of thugs and hoodlums. Onlookers’ account of what followed played like a scene from hell as school staff were assaulted on the orders of Metuh until the seized phone was forcibly produced. Reports said police was called in but the then influential politician was never arrested nor charged, and efforts by reporters to get Metuh’s side of the story was said to have been rebuffed, only for Kanayo, his wife, to tell a Daily Sun reporter: “Let them (the school authorities) go ahead and do whatever they want to do. I am sorry, I don’t want to talk on the issue.”

A year earlier, Metuh, according to media reports, was also said to have been involved in a show of shame at the Sam Mbakwe Airport in Owerri when he alleged brawled with another rogue Igbo politician, Chris Uba in a slapping match. Up till date. what actually transpired at the Owerri Airport between both men on that fateful 2010 day vary depending on whose account you care to entertain. By all decent and civil standards, both men are derelicts cut from the same stinky cloth and are unworthy of any honourable mention in any decent discourse.

Since being relieved of his spokesperson’s position with the PDP and following increased pressure from law enforcement to vigorously prosecute the charges against him, Olisa Metuh has tried every tactic in his playbook of tricks to derail the case against him. He has tried jumping bail, fainting spells, hospitalisation, hunger strike, threats and blackmail to no avail as the Magu-led EFCC seems determined to nail the peacock from Otolo, Nnewi, Anambra State, and to get justice for the Nigerian people.

In what seems like an epiphany at the long last, Metuh, represented by the brilliant Emeka Etiaba, seems to have finally come to himself. He now seems to be having a coming-to-the-altar moment. And that is good. Real or imagined, I sense some measure of contrition on Olisa’s part, since we all remember with disgust the garbage that spewed from his mouth a few months, only topped by the stomach-churning logic and incoherence of speech and ideas emanating from the frothy-mouthed Fani-Kayode who did much damage in stoking the embers of tribal and religious fire that could have so easily consumed our nation. All of these were done as a veritable distraction from the critical issue of stopping the hemorrhaging of the wealth of the nation by way of corruption and corrupt practices for which these men stand accused.

Olisa Metuh’s case represents all that is wrong with Nigeria. Here is a man who has had the good fortune of being blessed with the rare opportunity for public service and the privilege to rise to the top of his chosen career but chose to abuse the same country, by participating in an orgy of the looting of public funds.

On that note, I recommend, as a deterrent, that not only should the Nigerian authorities accept the “magnanimity” of the offer to refund the N400 million of public funds but that Metuh should still be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. As a matter of fact, the likes of Olisa Metuh are the reason why Nigeria is overdue for Special Courts for special crimes such as corruption.

The only redeeming aspect of the recent Metuh meltdown is his public acknowledgment of the important place that the war on corruption occupies in the rebuilding of our nation. His affirmation of support for the anti-corruption campaign is analogous to the eating of the humble pie – an act which I hope will be wisely embraced by Metuh’s ilks and their criminal cabal.

That is my story. And I stand by it.

Charles Anyiam is Editor-In-Chief, The African Times-USA.