Maitama Sule Served Nigeria With Great Optimism – El-Rufai

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State says the country will miss the wise counsel of the late Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Sule who passed on Monday in Cairo, Egypt.

In a condolence message he issued through his spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, El-Rufai described the late Maitama Sule as a statesman and great orator who was among the generation that laid the foundation of modern Nigeria.

The governor who said that it was a privilege to have known and benefitted from his prayers and wise counsel, lamented that the generation that secured independence and partook in the daunting task of governing a young country are disappearing from the earth.

“As a young minister in the First Republic, and in other roles in public life, Ambassador Maitama Sule served the people of this country with panache and refreshing optimism.”

The governor prayed Allah to grant peaceful repose to the soul of the titan who according to him, reached out to young and old alike, adding however that he was blessed to live to a ripe old age.

“We thank Allah for their lives and service. We pray for Allah’s mercy on the departed and guidance for those of us that remain as we seek to do our duty to our people and our country.”

Read Also: Six Major Roles Maitama Sule Played

Olisah Metuh Loses Bid To Disqualify Court, Others

MetuhA Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed an application filed by Mr Olisa Metuh seeking an end to the hearing of a suit against him in the court.          

Mr Metuh, who is the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had asked the court to disqualify itself from hearing a matter against him on grounds of bias by the presiding judge.

Abuse Of Court Process
He had alleged in his application that the presiding judge was a classmate of his, stressing that he knew him well and was therefore, ill-disposed to deliver justice on the matter.

In an earlier response to the allegation, Justice Okon Abang said that he did not know Mr Metuh and had not met him before now, a position that prompted the court to dismiss his application as an abuse of court process.

CourtGiving his ruling on the application on Friday, Justice Abang held that there were no substantial facts or evidence given by the PDP spokesman in support of the allegation upon which the court would disqualify itself.

The court heard another application by Mr Metuh and the second defendant in the matter, Dastra Investment Limited, to suspend proceedings at the Federal High Court, pending the decision of a similar case at the Court of Appeal.

It also considered an application asking the court to return the file of the case to the chief judge for re-assignment, and an application that the matter be adjourned to enable the second defendant change the counsel representing them.

This followed a disassociation from the previous counsel, who is currently representing the first defendant, Olisah Metuh.

metuhThe EFCC had earlier filed a seven-count charge of criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering against the PDP National Publicity Secretary, but he was granted bail by a Federal High Court.

Sequel to his release, the anti-graft agency arraigned Mr Metuh on a two-count charge for criminal destruction of evidence and property of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), but was granted bail by Justice Okon Abang who signed his release warrant.

Witness Confesses Receiving 25m Naira From Metuh

MetuhA seventh witness says that he received the sum of 25 million Naira from the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Olisa Metuh, for image laundering.

Testifying in the case of criminal diversion of 400 million Naira preferred against Mr Metuh by the Federal Government, Mr Abah Dabo said that he received the said sum of money from the PDP Spokesman to manage the party and former President Goodluck Jonathan ahead of the 2015 general elections.

Dabo, who was also a former Political Adviser to former Vice President Namadi Sambo, told the court on Thursday that the money he received from Metuh on December 16, 2014 was meant for countering the negative publicity being received by President Jonathan and the PDP from the then opposition party.

He explained that he used part of the money given to him to pay for an office accommodation in Maitama district of Abuja and engaged some youths to manage a website known as ‘Whatsapp Naija’.

The witness revealed that he refunded the 25 million Naira to the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission when he read in the media that the money was part of the fund that Metuh received from the office of the National Security Adviser.

Under cross examination from the Defence lawyers, Ifedayo Adedipe and Ben Nwosu, the witness maintained that he did not know the source of funds from which the PDP spokesman paid him for his services, adding that he never asked Mr Metuh for his source of funding.

The lawyers stressed further that they were not bothered by the quality of evidence given by the seventh prosecution witness.

The court subsequently fixed February 9 for further hearing on the trial of the PDP spokesman.

5.2bn Naira Aviation Scam: AGF’s Request Stalls Trial Of Borishade, Others

EFCC on BorishadeHearing on a suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the former Minister of Aviation, Babalola Borishade and four others, has been stalled on the request of the Attorney General of the Federation for a brief on the matter.

Mr Borishade and four others were to appear before Justice Abubakar Umar of the High Court in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on Wednesday.

In a statement issued by the spokesperson for the anti-graft agency, both parties were present in court, but Justice Umar informed them that the matter could not go on as planned, as the AGF had requested for a brief on the case by the EFCC since the matter had been in court for about seven years.

“He presented a letter dated February 2 from the AGF requesting for an adjournment of the case and records of court proceedings so far.

“Counsel to the EFCC, Chile Okoroma, told the court that his hands were tied with regards to continuing the proceeding, as the AGF, being the Chief Law Officer, has power over him,” the statement read.

The statement further read that Mr Okoroma said that “under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, and Section 174 of the Constitution, the AGF has the power to take over, continue or discontinue a case”.

Counsel to the first defendant, Kehinde Ogunwumiju and Regina Okotie- Eboh, representing the 4th and 5th defendants, who had initially sought for a dismissal of the case which was earlier slated for ruling on Wednesday, could not have their applications taken as a result of the letter from the AGF.

Justice Umar adjourned the case to February 17, 2016 for ruling and continuation of hearing pending the decision of the AGF.

Mr Borishade, his former personal assistant, Tunde Dairo, and two others allegedly mismanaged a 5.2 billion Naira Aviation Safe Tower contract.

Others on trial for the alleged offence are former Managing Director of Nigeria Airspace Management Agency, Rowland Iyayi; an Australian, George Eider and Avsatel Communications Limited.

The suspects were arraigned on November 19, 2009 by the EFCC on a 15-count charge of taking bribe and forging aviation contract documents.

Olisa Metuh Released on Bail

metuhThe National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Olisa Metuh has been released on bail.

Mr Metuh walked out of Kuje Prisons on Thursday afternoon after meeting the bail conditions given to him by the court.

A Federal High Court had on Wednesday, varied the bail conditions given to Mr Olisa Metuh.

Justice Okon Abang, signed his release warrant, upon being satisfied with the verification of the details of the two sureties provided by the accused and the title documents of the property owned by the sureties.

The verification exercise was done by the Chief Registrar of the court with the involvement of the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Sylvanus Tahir, whom the judge directed must verify the residential addresses of the two sureties.

A court official confirmed to our correspondent that Metuh met the bail conditions and presented the necessary documents just before the close of work on Thursday.

Trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, changed his earlier order that the sureties must be property owners in the Maitama area of Abuja only to an order that the two sureties must be owners of properties in any area of the Federal Capital Territory.

He, however, retained the sum of bail which he put at 400 million Naira.

Justice Abang declined the request of the prosecution, who asked the court to expunge him as part of the verification exercise of the bail conditions on the ground that it is not in his place to make orders for the court.

Mr Metuh is accused of receiving the sum of N400 million from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, without a contract, contrary to the Money Laundering Act.

Mr Metuh, is also accused of converting the said money to funds for political activities of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Mr Metuh was arrested by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at his home on January 5.

High Court Varies Metuh’s Bail Conditions

metuhA Federal High Court has varied the bail conditions given to the National Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP), Olisa Metuh.

Trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, changed his earlier order that the sureties must be property owners in the Maitama area of Abuja only to an order that the two sureties must be owners of properties in any area of the Federal Capital Territory.

He, however, retained the sum of bail which he put at 400 million Naira.

Justice Abang declined the request of the prosecution, who asked the court to expunge him as part of the verification exercise of the bail conditions on the ground that it is not in his place to make orders for the court .

The judge said that the prosecutor is an officer of the court and he  is not to tamper with any order of the court .

He ruled that should the prosecutor refuse to comply  with the order of the court, he would be charged for contempt .

In his application, counsel to Metuh, Sylvanus Tahir, told the court that the bail conditions were too stringent .

According to him, his client has no friends or relatives with properties in Maitama area of the Federal Capital Territory, as such, the court should vary the conditions to allow for property owners in any other part of the FCT to stand as sureties for his client .

The Prosecuting Counsel, who did not oppose the application and whose oral application was discountenanced by the court on the grounds that he ought to have filed a written affidavit indicating his opposition, however, asked the court to also vary the aspect of the conditions, which orders him to be part of the verification process of the bail conditions .

Mr  Metuh is standing trial for corruption, money laundering and criminal breach of trust.

The opposition party’s spokesman had on Monday, January 25, requested for a variation of his bail conditions.

Nyanya Blast: Victims Lament Alleged Government’s Neglect

nyanya blastThe Federal Capital Territory’s administration has  debunked claims of government’s neglect by victims of the Nyanya bombing which occurred on April 14 this year.

The Special Adviser on Media to the FCT Minister, Nosike Ogbuenyi says that they have continued to pay medical bills for those who patronize them.

“We have our hospitals, general hospitals  in Wuse, Asokoro, Maitama, Nyanya, we advise people as much as possible, if we have primary care in terms of emergencies outside these hospitals,  once we are stabilized you can come to these hospitals because this is where we have our personnel to get proper treatment”

While some of the victims complained of inadequate facilities in these hospitals and requested for a transfer to another hospital.

The victims of the blast had earlier this month appealed to the federal government to assist them to continue with their medical treatment.

According to them, government’s response to their plights stopped months ago, after the initial response in the first few days of the explosion.

EFCC Arrests Former Kogi Governor’s Wife And Son

 The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested the son of a former governor of Kogi State, Abubakar Audu and his wife over a property scam to the tune of N18 million.

Mustapha Audu and Zahrah Audu, through their company, Constructors Guild Limited, allegedly obtained the sum from one Nike Kolawole under the guise of helping her secure choice properties in Katampe Extension, and Caemly Estate, Idu Sabo, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Confirming the arrest to Channels Television, the EFCC maintained that the suspects would be arraigned at the Federal High Court 12, Maitama, Abuja.