PDP Screens Eight Candidates For Chairmanship Ahead Of NEC

pdpThe caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it is screening eight candidates ahead of the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting.

The NEC meeting is where a National Chairman for the party is expected to be ratified.

The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Olisa Metuh, told journalists that the caucus expanded the number of candidates from the initial four submitted by the governors for screening to eight.

According to him, the former Governor of Borno State, Mr Ali Modu Sheriff and Mr Nuhu Ribadu have joined the race for the party’s national chairmanship.

Abike Dabiri, Diamond Bank To Settle Out Of Court

Diamond BankA former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa and Diamond Bank have opted for an out of court settlement in the suit she instituted against the bank.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa, had on August 6, 2015, filed a 500 million Naira suit ‎against the bank for publishing her name among the list of chronic debtors who have refused to liquidate their debts.

In the alleged malicious publication by Punch, the former lawmaker is said to be owing the bank about N122m.

Diamond Bank had published her picture as a Director of Thriller Endeavors, which she claims she has never heard of.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa insists that the publication is false and it has subjected her to public ridicule and embarrassment.

In a suit filed before a Lagos High Court, sitting in Igbosere, Lagos Island, she also listed the Punch Newspapers Limited as the second defendant.

When the matter came up for hearing on Thursday before Justice Abdulfattah‎ Lawal, the counsel to Diamond Bank, Chuka Agbu SAN, told the court of the moves to settle the matter out of court.

He then urged the court to adjourn the matter to enable the parties conclude discussions on the process.

Outside the court, Counsel representing Punch Newspapers, Mr Clement Onwuenwunor, said that the paper is not part of the settlement talks as it has indemnity from the bank for its publication.

Counsel representing Mrs Dabiri-Erewa, Ademola Fadipe is however optimistic that the settlement talks will be agreeable to all parties.

Justice Lawal has adjourned the matter till March 10, for a report of the settlement.

 

Nigeria Is Using Desperate Tactics To Fight Corruption – Fashakin

Rotimi_FashakinA leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Rotimi Fashakin, on Thursday said Nigeria, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari,is using desperate tactics to fight corruption.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, about the continued detention of the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Olisah Metuh, Mr Fashakin said “desperate situations demand desperate solutions”.

He alleged that Mr Metuh had “made elaborate arrangement to get to the Caribbean and from there disappear from the radar of the Nigerian authority”.

Mr Fashakin further noted that the Buhari-led administration has taken the fight against corruption beyond the mundane level.

“This is one of the rare occasions you see the Nigerian nation taking the fight against corruption very seriously beyond the mundane level.

“We have always pontificated it but it has always stopped at that level”, adding that “this is the first time that the fight against corruption has been leadership centred”, he said.

Mr Fashakin, who said the “scourge of corruption is humongous on our nation”, attributed the change to the leadership of President Buhari, adding that “when you see these desperate tactics being employed at fighting it, you will understand clearly where this administration is coming from”

He paraphrased the words of former United States Secretary of States, Colin Powell, saying “processes and systems may fail, but everything rises and falls on leadership” to buttress his argument that President Buhari is responsible for the turn in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

He commended the efforts of late military Head of State, Gen. Murtala Muhammed, who ruled Nigeria for six months before being assassinated, in the fight against corruption in the mid-1970s.

Mr Fashakin also admitted that beyond the efforts of late Gen Mohammed, the former Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC) Chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, whom he is no longer a fan of, “attempted to raise our consciousness to the scourge of corruption.

The former spokesman of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), however, said that Nigerians will only remember Mr Ribadu’s fight against corruption as politically motivated during the administration of Mr Olusegun Obasanjo.

Mr Fashakin, in defending the “desperate measures” being used to fight corruption by the Buhari-led administration, singled the judiciary as one of the problems of Nigeria and urged Nigerians to call for the declaration of a state of emergency.

Mr Fashakin, who is not a legal practitioner, added that Nigeria’s judiciary is “more interested in the exhibition of legalism over administration of justice” adding that “we have created many lacunas in our laws” that allows for the circumvention of justice.

He wondered how the judiciary failed to find former Delta State governor, Mr James Ibori, guilty of charges that a court in London found him guilty of.

 

Presidency Has No Hand In EFCC Affairs – Information Minister

EFCCThe Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, on Wednesday said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has no hands in the way the EFCC carries out its functions.

Mr Mohammed disclosed this on Wednesday to State House correspondents in Abuja while responding to reactions trialling Mr Olisa Metuh’s arrest by the EFCC.

The Minister challenged the media to carry out investigations on such reports to authenticate whether such allegations are true or false.

“I think the first point to make is that this government is not micro-managing any of the anti-graft agencies. I know for a fact that they don’t contact the President or anybody before they do their job.

“I think the media also has to do more than they are doing right now, they should investigate these allegations and also make their independent judgment about it.

“Honestly, if the EFCC or ICPC says that they are able to trace certain amount of money to my account, I don’t want you to believe it, I want you to also ask for proof; do your investigation.

“I can assure you that this government, no functionary in government micromanages or directs the EFCC or ICPC on who to arrest and who not to arrest”, he said.

This is coming after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Olisa Metuh, on Tuesday morning.

According to a statement, officials of the anti-graft agency told the opposition party spokesman that he was being invited on a friendly note to answer questions at the EFCC Headquarters in Abuja.

The PDP subsequently released a statement, signed by its National Secretary, Prof. Wale Oladipo, that the arrest of Mr Metuh was part of a larger script by the government to ensure that the party’s wings were finally clipped.

The party said that it was not surprised by the arrest because according to them, it came after series of threats on the PDP spokesperson.

“The excesses of security agencies under this government, especially the Directorate of Security Services (DSS) and the EFCC, in abridging the human rights of PDP members have become worrisome and a threat to our democratic evolution,” the statement read.

 

PDP Reacts To Metuh’s Arrest

PDP
PDP National Secretary, Professor Wale Oladipo,

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised an alarm over the arrest of its spokesperson, Mr Olisa Metuh.

The party, in a statement by its National Secretary, Professor Wale Oladipo, said that the arrest of Mr Metuh, based on an intelligence the party claims it got, is part of a larger script by the government to ensure that PDP’s wings are finally clipped.

Professor Oladipo added that the effort was part of a mission of the APC-led government to install a dictatorial one-party state in the country.

The party, however, said that it is not surprised by Mr Metuh’s arrest because according to them, it came after series of threats on their party’s spokesperson.

The PDP then said that “the excesses of security agencies under this government, especially the Directorate of Security Services (DSS) and the EFCC, in abridging the human rights of PDP members have become worrisome and a threat to our democratic evolution.”

The party went further to say that it was “aware of top directives to break Chief Metuh and if possible poison him during his detention by the EFCC”.

The PDP alleged that Mr Metuh has, since his arrest at about 10AM on Tuesday morning, been kept incommunicado, with his lawyers denied access to him.

The opposition party alleged that the arrest of its spokesperson is the last straw that may break Nigeria’s democracy.

The party then forewarned the Federal Government and its agencies to save the nation’s democracy and release its National Publicity Secretary.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday arrested the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Olisa Metuh, but is yet to disclose the reasons behind the arrest.

Mr Metuh, had several days ago, released statements on alleged threat on him because of his “efforts at criticising the ruling party and the actions of the government”.

He said that on account of information available to him, he had cause to believe that the Federal Government was desperate and might have finalised plans to silence him.

EFCC Arrests PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh

metuhThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Olisa Metuh.

A statement issued by the Special Assistant to Mr Metuh stated that he was arrested at his home by four officials of the EFCC on Tuesday morning at about 10:00AM and was taken away in an unmarked white Hiace bus.

The statement added that the officials told the opposition party spokesman that he was being invited on a friendly note to answer questions at the anti-graft agency’s headquarters in Abuja.

A PDP official told Channels Television that efforts by Mr Metuh’s aides and lawyers to reach him has proved abortive since he was taken into custody.

Details regarding his arrest remains unclear as the EFCC is yet to disclose the reasons behind the invitation.

Mr Metuh, had several days ago, released statements on alleged threat on him because of his “efforts at criticising the ruling party and the actions of the government”.

He said that on account of information available to him, he had cause to believe that the Federal Government was desperate and might have finalised plans to silence him.

Kogi Election: Bello’s Declaration As Governor-elect Is Waste Of Time – PDP

kogiThe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the Independent National Electoral Commission’s declaration of Yahaya Bello, Governor-elect in Kogi State, as a waste of time, scarce national resources and ridiculous shadow-chasing.

The party has alleged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate did not participate in the overall election.

The PDP claimed that INEC, in the bid to satisfy the APC-led Federal Government, has only succeeded in making a mockery of itself and the entire electoral process.

In a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisah Metuh, the PDP pointed out that, apart from not being a valid candidate, Mr Bello scored a mere 6885 in the supplementary election, as against the 204,877 votes polled by the PDP candidate, Governor Idris Wada, in the overall election.

According to Metuh, “The action of INEC in trying to transfer the votes earlier garnered by the dead APC candidate, Prince Audu Abubakar, to another individual is completely impractical and alien to the nation’s constitution and the Electoral Act.”

He further said that “the declaration by INEC that one Yahaya Bello polled the highest number of votes is an embarrassing travesty of the nation’s democracy and electoral process” and should not stand.

“Not only that this individual is not in any way a valid candidate in the election, he also did not score the overall votes declared against his name by INEC and cannot be declared winner under any circumstance within the provisions of our laws,” he said.

The PDP’s conclusion is that Governor Wada remains the validly elected within the dictates of Nigerian laws, under the circumstance.

President Buhari Will Always Tell Nigerians The Truth – Adesina

BuhariThe Presidency says all attempts by PDP spokesman, Olisah Metuh and others to distract President Buhari from the job he has been elected to do will fail.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, was reacting to a statement credited to the PDP man, alleging that President Muhammadu Buhari is “demarketing Nigeria”.

Adesina said, “President Buhari will remain true to the virtues of honesty, integrity, sincerity, incorruptibility and plain-speaking which endeared him to Nigerians and made them prefer his leadership to that of a lying and deceptive PDP administration.

“The President will not, in the guise of “marketing” the country, refrain from telling Nigerians and the world, the emerging truths about the abject state in which years of plundering by a PDP leadership has left the Nigerian treasury and economy.

“President Buhari will not in the name of “marketing” or “attracting” investors, follow in the footsteps of the ousted PDP Administration and its discredited officials who shamelessly lied to Nigerians and the world about the buoyancy and vibrancy of an economy they had bled dry for personal gain, when it was very obvious to the discerning, that the Nigerian economy was headed for serious trouble.”

He accused Mr. Metuh of unjustly denigrating the President who continues to strive with all his might to alleviate and reverse the harm done to the nation by PDP, instead of showing remorsefulness and giving support for President Buhari’s efforts to revamp the national economy.

“Mr. Metuh’s antics are futile. President Buhari cannot be distracted by a broken record. If the PDP spokesman ever has serious matters to bring to our attention, we will be prepared to listen,” Mr Adesina concluded.

APC, PDP Take Positions Over Ministerial Screening

PDP-senateReactions are trailing the antecedents of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial nominees and the screening modalities to be adopted by the Nigerian Senate.

Less than 24 hours to the screening of the ministerial nominees, a member of the House of Representatives, Mr Mark Gbillah, representing Gwer East and West constituencies in Benue State, was on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, where he shared the APC lawmakers’ position.

He said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) remains united in its decision to support the ministerial nominees during the screening exercise.

Meanwhile, Spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisah Metuh, said that the leadership of the PDP would not dictate to its Senators on what position to take during the screening exercise.

He said, “The PDP as a party will not hold any discussion with them, will not give them any preconceived notion. We will not discuss with them.

“They are now working for the Nigerian people. They are no more working for the PDP.”

He, however, added that in serving the Nigerian people, “they should take the best decisions in the interest of Nigerians”.

Senate Committee Quizzes DSS Over Rivers Election  

dssThe Senate Committee on Ethics on Thursday said the Department of State Services (DSS) does not have the authority to interfere in electoral disputes.

The Committee on Thursday invited DSS officials over a petition from the Rivers State House of Assembly, accusing the agency of unduly interfering in the Rivers State Election Petition pending before the Election Petition Tribunals.

The DSS described the allegation of undue interference as a blatant lie by the lawmakers.

However, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senate Caucus had earlier appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to look into allegations of witch-hunting of party members by the DSS.

In a swift reaction, the Chairman of the Senate Adhoc Committee on Media dismissed the allegations of the PDP Senators.

Also, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mr Lai Mohammed, has assured that the APC will never interfere with anti-graft probe, be it on APC members, its past governors, officials or others, asking the members of PDP who might have erred, to face consequences of their actions.

The Committee is expected to present its report after investigating the matter to the Senate.

Abike Dabiri Sues Diamond Bank, Punch Newspapers For Libel

Abike-dabiriA former member of the House of Representatives, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, on Thursday filed a libel suit against Diamond bank and The Punch Newspapers.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa told the Lagos State High Court, Igbosere that the bank and the newspaper wrongfully accused her of owing N122 million.

Diamond Bank on August 4, had published her picture as a Director of Thriller Endeavors, which she claims she has never heard off.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa is praying the court to compel the bank to publicly apologize and also pay damages running to N500 million.

“It cost me irreparable damage, it has totally embarassed me, i found it very very shocking and i just feel that the best thing to do is to seek legal redress in court.

“My lawyers are demanding for N500 million compensation from Diamond Bank and from The Punch Newspaper for doing that,” She said.

Nigerian Refugees Return From Cameroon  

refugeesThe National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has confirmed the return of about 1, 000 refugees to Nigeria on Thursday from Cameroon.

“We already cleared those who have arrived the borders, but Nigerian Immigration is yet to clear so many others”, an official of NEMA told Channels Television.

NEMA also confirmed that within the next 24 hours, about 12,000 Nigerians are expected to return to the country from Cameroon.

The returnees are those who had sought refuge in Cameroon following Boko Haram attacks.

A similar incident occurred in May where over 20,000 people were returned from Lake Chad Island, to allow military operations.