Wife of Ex-PDP Chairman, Ahmadu Ali Joins APC

Wife of Ex-PDP Chairman, Ahmadu Ali Joins APC

The wife of a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Ahmadu Ali, Mrs Mariam Ali, has joined the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Mrs Ali was received on Thursday by the APC National Chairman, Mr John Odigie-Oyegun, at the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja.

She was accompanied by the Delta State APC Chairman, Jones Erue, and other party leaders in the state while the event was also attended by the APC National Woman Leader, Mrs Ramatu Aliyu, and the party’s National Auditor, Mr George Moghalu, among others.

The former PDP chairman’s wife said her decision to join the APC was to continue to serve Nigerians, adding that she would be doing herself “a lot of disservices” if her desire was not achieved.

She said: “I know also a lot of people will wonder why I have chosen to opt for a political party different from my husband’s. Again, the answer is not farfetched. My family is a unique family, it is a family devoid of religious and ethnic differences.

“You are all aware that Dr Ahmadu Ali is a Muslim and I am passionate Catholic. Also, Dr Ahmadu Ali is from North Central and I am from the South-South. Therefore, religion and ethnicity do not play a role in our lives.”

Mrs Ali said joining the APC while her husband remains an active member of the PDP displays the uniqueness of her family.

“We symbolise a people who want to serve a nation, a nation where oneness, love and peace reign supreme. Today marks the beginning of greater peace, love, and oneness amongst all Nigerians. It is a new dawn, one nation, one destiny, one people. It is about an indivisible nation, Nigeria,” she added.

In his remarks, Mr Oyegun said Ali’s entrant to the APC has added more value and quality to the party and its leadership both in Delta State and at the national level.

“l am glad that this day has come that you are joining APC because of your determination to render service to your people and the nation, which means that you have looked around, you have looked at your environment in the PDP and you have decided consciously after deep thought that the best vehicle available today on which platform you can render that service is the APC and l want to congratulate you,” he said.

The APC leader added that although Dr Ali was the longest serving National chairman of the PDP, he wished the decision taken by his wife was extended to him.

Jonathan Appears Before PDP Presidential Screening Committee

PresGoodluck Jonathan with party nomination form.ident Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday appeared before a Presidential Screening Committee of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Jonathan, who arrived at the party’s secretariat at 3.15pm, in company of Vice President Namadi Sambo and some ministers, went straight to the screening venue.

The exercise lasted for about an hour, with the Ahmadu Ali headed committee discharging the President after the closed screening session. Immediately after the exercise, the President left the party secretariat as quietly as he came in.

The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, who spoke to journalists shortly after the screening, said it was necessary for the President to comply with the processes leading to the primaries and ratification.

According to him, the President was not in any way disadvantaged before now and that his humility at submitting to party processes speaks volume of his compliance with party supremacy.

Metuh said the result of the screening would be released by the party’s leadership within 24 hours.

Metuh Insists PDP Has Challenges Not Factions

The National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisah Metuh has denied any form of split within the party claiming that “what we have now is challenges”.

Metuh, who spoke from the Abuja studio of Channels Television during Sunrise Daily, said the challenges are arising from differences on how the party should run its affairs.

He however maintained that the challenges facing the party are common because of its nature.

“We are a big party, we are a large family, it is common that in big associations, even in families, companies you do have differences, you do have challenges” he said.

Metuh also welcomed the reconciliatory move by former heads of state, retired Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Olusegun Obasanjo, two former party chairmen in persons of Barnabas Gemade and Ahmadu Ali and the Chairman of the Board of Trustee of the Party, Tony Anenih.

He noted that the National Working Committee of the party (NWC) is solely focused on supporting the government of President Goodluck Jonathan in ensuring that Nigerians get the benefits of democracy from the government they put in place to rule them.

He described the sealing of the Baraje-led party office as “an interpretation of a court order” maintaining that “there is nothing wrong with the decision”.

Metuh said the factional party never existed adding that we went to court and obtained an injunction that all parties should maintain “status quo antebellum”, meaning that “we should maintain the status before the crisis and that people should not take actions to change the position”.

He then noted that “if you open an office, you are not maintaining the status quo antebellum. If you go ahead to hold meetings, you are not holding the status quo antebellum. So it is an interpretation of a court order and there is nothing wrong with the decision”.

He further welcomed the differences of party members from the state chapters with the NWC but was quick to add that they went to court to address some of the issues because “to carry it further will be dangerous to the growth of the party”.

Meddlesome Interlopers

Metuh described the All Progressives Congress (APC) as “meddlesome interlopers” claiming that “they have no reason, whatsoever to interfere in our affairs”.

He warned that the feelings and thoughts of the newly formed party “is insignificant” and is “of no effect whatsoever”.

He further said “this is an opposition party that has not been able to sustain any kind of opposition except abuse, except hauling insults at the president or the leadership of the ruling party” adding that “they have nothing that they have offered, they have never debated any issue, they have never offered any alternative”.

He also noted that “they have no other platform to discuss except to interfere in the  internal affairs of the party”.

He went further to call the APC a tribalistic party, formed by individuals that are built on the fiefdom of a state, warning that “issues of corruption and tribal and ethnic politics cannot come together and form national interest”.



PDP Sets Up Committee To Produce Preferred BoT Chairman

The Board of Trustee (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday failed to reach a consensus on who would replace former President Olusegun Obasanjo as its chairman.

Efforts to elect a new BoT chairman ended in a stalemate following the refusal of the board’s secretary, Walid Jibrin, to step down.
Subsequently, the party constituted a six-man special committee to properly align the membership of its board of trustees with its relevant constitutional provisions, in order to enhance the legitimacy of the outcome of the eventual election of a new bot chairman.

Briefing journalists after the meeting of the BoT, a former National Secretary of the party and Nigeria’s ambassador to Canada, Ojo Maduekwe said the decision has become necessary for the party to continue to reinvent, remain united, forward looking in the best interest of Nigerians.

The committee is headed by former information minister, Jerry Gana. Other members of the committee are Shetima Mustafa, Governor Ibrahim Shema, Senator Stella Omu, Senator Hope Uzodinma, and Bode George.

The committee has three weeks to submit its report.

Mr Obasanjo, who resigned as the PDP BoT Chairman, was conspicuously absent on Tuesday night as the party tried to find his replacement. No reason was given for his absence.

Those contesting for the PDP top job include Alex Ekwueme, Ken Nnamani, Okwesilieze Nwodo and Ahmadu Ali.

Others are Tony Anenih, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Don Etiebet, Bode Olayinka, Yekeen Adeojo, Onyeabor Obi, Harry Akande and Shuaibu Oyedokun.

Tuesday’s meeting of the PDP BoT started at about 8.25 pm with the arrival of President Goodluck Jonathan along with Vice-President Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, the National Chairman of the party, Bamanga Tukur, and the Chief of Staff to the president, Mike Oghiadomhe.

Josephine Anenih, Katsina State Governor, Ibrahim Shema, Hassan Adamu and PDP National Secretary, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, had told reporters before the meeting started that the expectations of the party’s BoT members were to select a chairman that would carry all members of the party along and assist in repositioning the party.

PDP throws BoT Chairmanship position open

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has postponed its Board of Trustees (BoT) meeting to 8 January 2013.

The meeting, earlier scheduled for late Friday evening, was meant to elect a new Chairman for the Board.

Sources at the presidential villa, venue of the meeting, say there was a heated argument between members before the postponement.

The BoT Secretary, Walid Jubril, who briefed newsmen at the end of the meeting, said the emergency meeting which had the BoT chairmanship as the only business of the day on the agenda was to examine the modalities to adopt in electing the new Chairman of the board.
He also said the position is open to any member of the board.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo had resigned his appointment as the BoT chairman, thus creating the vacuum that party leaders are expected to fill. Whoever emerges, according to the party constitution, will serve a single term of five years.

Main contenders for the office are former national chairman of the party, Ahmadu Ali; former Works Minister, Tony Anenih; former Senate President, Ken Nnamani and Chairman, Newspaper Publisher, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu.

Some of the notable personalities who attended the meeting at the state house on Friday night include; the PDP Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, the Senate President, David Mark, former vice president, Alex Ekwueme, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, former chairman of the party, Haliru Bello.

Others include, former governor of Nasarawa State, Adamu Abdullahi, Sam Sam, Jaja, Jim Nwobodo, former Speaker, Ghali Na’Abba, Barnabas Gemade, Bode George, Mariam Amodu Ali, Vincent Ogboulafor, Sunny Odogwu, Kema Chikwe, Ibrahim Mantu, Bode Olajumoke, Maina Waziri, Don Etiebet, Ebenezer Babatope and Danjuma Goje.

Fuel subsidy scam: Court fails to sit for Mamman Ali’s trial

The Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja on Monday failed to sit on the scheduled re-arraignment of Mamman Ali, son of former Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ahmadu Ali, along with three others for alleged fuel subsidy fraud.

No reason was given for the failure of the court to sit but the court registrars announced a new date of Monday the 26th of November 2012 for the re-arraignment.

Present in court were the duo of Mamman Ali and Christian Taylor, who had initially been arraigned along with their company Nasaman Oil on the 26th of July for fuel subsidy fraud totaling about 2.23bn.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has however said that following further investigations, the defendants would be re-arraigned on an amended charge along with some other persons whose names were not originally on the charge.

Jonathan’s aide stands as surety for fuel subsidy fraud suspect

The Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Intergovernmental Affairs, Mrs. Mariam Ali, has volunteered to be the bail surety for one of the suspects of fuel subsidy fraud, Christian Taylor.

Christian Taylor, a Sierra Leonean, who is amongst the people arraigned for the fuel subsidy scam was, last week granted bail by Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo. But on Tuesday, he applied to have his bail conditions varied.

The judge was told by his lawyer, Kolade Obafemi that it would be difficult for him as a foreigner to produce a blood relation to stand surety for him as he has no such relation in Nigeria.

The lawyer then  informed the court that in place of a blood relative, a reputable and responsible Nigerian, an aide of President Goodluck Jonathan, Mrs. Mariam Ali, has agreed to stand surety for the Sierra-Leonean.

“The proposed surety, Dr. Mariam Ali is a responsible Nigerian. She is the Special Assistant to the President on Intergovernmental Affairs,” he said.

Mrs. Ali who is a Special Adviser to President Jonathan has also agreed to use her landed property situated in Surulere, Lagos as part of the bail bond.

Taylor is standing trial alongside with Mahman Ali, who is son of   Mariam and a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ahmadu Ali.

Although the prosecution led by counsel to the EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, opposed the variation of the bail condition on the ground that Taylor was trying to misrepresent fact as he had earlier claimed in his statement that he was a native of Edo State from Okpe local government area before turning around to claim Sierra leone, his counsel assured the court that he would not jump bail.

The judge, however overruled Jacobs, saying, “the essence of granting the bail was to ensure that the accused attended trial.”

Based on this, Justice Onigbanjo varied the bail condition and substituted it with a reputable and responsible Nigerian with landed property in Lagos.

Taylor and Ali along with their company, Nasaman Oil Services were arraigned on July 26 on three counts which includes the fraudulent  collection of about N2.23bn from the Central Bank of Nigeria as subsidy for importing PMS.

The commencement of the trial was fixed for October 30.


Subsidy scam: Court grants bail to suspects

A  Lagos High court sitting in Ikeja on Thursday granted bail to the sons of the former and serving national chairman of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP), Ahmadu Ali and Bamaga Tukur, and some other suspects indicted in the oil subsidy scam.

Mamman Nasir Ali, Mahmud Tukur, and two others were granted bail by Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo in the sum of N20 million each with two sureties in like sum, one of the sureties according to the court must be a blood relation and another a level sixteen officer in the Federal or State civil service.

The court also held that one of the sureties must own a property worth N100 million in Lagos and that the title of the said property must be registered with the state land registry and the sureties must present to the court’s registrar a three years tax clearance.

Justice Onigbanjo also ordered the defendants who also included Ochonogor Alex and Christian Taylor to deposit their travel passports with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which can only be released to them on the orders of the court.

Alao to remain in custody

Though all the accused persons are free to go home upon fulfilling the terms of the bail, Abdulahi Alao, the son of Ibadan businessman and politician, Arisekola Alao would, however, remain in the custody of the EFCC until the 1 August when another judge, Justice Habeeb Abiru, handling the second charge filed against him by the anti-graft agency will determine whether to grant him bail or not.

His bail application for the trial which he and his company, Axenergy Limited are being arraigned, could not be heard because the EFCC pleaded for more time to respond to the application. He is facing a seven count of obtaining N1. 8 billion under false pretence

Mr Alao in the charge was specifically accused of conspiring to obtain N1. 8 billion from the Federal Government by falsely representing that the sum represented subsidy paid to him under the Petroleum Support Fund for the importation of 20, 014, 627 liters of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) which he falsely claimed was purchased and imported to Nigeria from Mercuria Trading N.V, vide MT Gavros ExMT Nippon Princess.

In the second case before Justice Onigbanjo, Mahmud Tukur, Ochonogor Alex, Abdulahi Alao and Eterna Oil and gas are facing a nine count of obtaining a sum of over N5 billion under false pretence.

They were said to have conspired to obtain the sum from the Federal Government by falsely representing that the sum represented subsidy paid to Eterna Oil and gas under the Petroleum Support Fund when they claimed to have purchased 33, 288, 338 litres PMS from Mercuria Trading SA and imported to Nigeria through MT Fulmer EX MT Emirate Star and MT Panther EX Emirate Star.

More false pretense

In yet another case, Mamman Nasir Ali, Christian Taylor and Nasaman Oil Service Limited were also arraigned before Justice Onigbanjo on a three count charge of obtaining N4. 8billion under false pretense.

Nasir Ali is the son of Ahmadu Ali, former chairman of PDP, and former chairman of the board of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).

However, the arraignment of Walter Wagbatsoma, Adaoha-Ugo-Ngadi, Fakuade Babafemi Ebenezer, Ezekiel Olajide Ejidele and Ontario Oil & Gas Nig. Ltd could not go ahead as Wagbatsoma failed to appear before the court.

His counsel Babajide Koku (SAN) informed the court that his client was not in court because he’s presently out of the country but would return to the country on Monday to enable him appear before the court.

But counsel for Ugo-Ngadi, Ebenezer and Ejidele, the second, third and fourth defendants respectively, Mr. Wale Akoni, (SAN), Abimbola Odeyemi and James Ogunyemi urged the court to separate the case of their clients from Wagbatsoma’s to enable their clients to be properly arraigned and also enable the court take their bail applications.

But Justice Abiru in his short ruling refused the request of the counsel on the basis that the request is premature at this stage as they are not yet properly before the court, he held that until their plea is taken the court cannot assume jurisdiction or make orders over the case.

The judge then adjourned the case till the 1st of August while the accused persons would remain in the custody of the EFCC.