Court Remands Metuh In Kuje Prison

Olisa-MetuhA Federal High Court in Abuja has remanded the spokesman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, in prison following his ‘not guilty’ plea to a seven-count charge of corruption and money laundering.

Mr Metuh appeared in court on Friday, days after he was arrested by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for the charges.

According to the charges, the PDP spokesman transferred the sum of $1 million through his agent, Nneka Nicole Ararume, to one Sie Iyenome of Capital Field Investment, committing an offense contrary to Section One of the Money Laundering Act.

He is also accused of receiving the sum of 400 million Naira from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Colonel 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 People’s Democratic Party.

He pleaded not guilty to the accusations.

Attempts by his counsel, Ifedayo Fadipe, to make an oral application for bail was rejected by the counsel to the EFCC, Sylvanus Tahir, who insisted that such an application could not be made orally.

Having listen to the two parties Justice Obong Abang agreed with the EFCC that such an application could not be made orally.

He then ordered Mr Metuh and his counsel to file his bail application within the next six hours, while the EFCC is to respond 24 hours after service of the of the bail application.

Hearing in the bail application has been adjourned to January 19.

before Mr Metuh was arraigned, the anti-graft agency asked him to return the money to effect his release.

“Witch Hunt”

Days after Mr metuh was held in detention, the opposition party’s federal lawmakers gave the EFCC 48 hours to either release its spokesman or charge him for the crime he was accused of.

The PDP caucus in the House of Representatives, led by the Minority Leader of the House, Representative Leo Ogor, said Mr Metuh had not committed any treasonable offence and should not be detained indefinitely.

Threatening to give the issue an international dimension should he be kept in detention without bail, the caucus said “the continued incarceration of the party’s spokesperson violates the law and borders on witch hunt”.

Another issue raised by the PDP caucus was what the members in the House of Representatives termed preferential treatment given to a member of the ruling party, Mr Jafaru Isa, who was also arrested over the same diversion of funds but was released eight hours later.

In defence to claims of preferential  treatment, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Parry Ariase, argued that the APC member in question was released after he refunded part of the money he collected illegally from the office of national security adviser and that he still has a case to answer.

Tribunal Affirms Amosun’s Victory, Isiaka Sues For Peace

AmosunThe Ogun State governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Abeokuta, the state capital, has affirmed the election of Mr. Ibikunle Amosun as Governor.

Delivering his judgement, Chairman of the three-man tribunal, Justice Henry Olusiyi also dismissed the petition by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship candidate in the election, Gboyega Isiaka, for lack of merit.

The Ogun PDP had approached the tribunal asking it to nullify the election of the governor over alleged malpractice and non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2010, as amended.

Meanwhile, Mr Gboyega Isiaka has appealed to his supporters to remain calm and not to engage in any act of lawlessness.

Reacting to the tribunal verdict that affirmed the election of Governor Ibikunle Amosun, the Ogun PDP candidate urged his supporters to respect the decision of the court and remain law abiding.

He said, “I am appealing to all and sundry to respect the decision of the court. Though the verdict did not go the way that would have gladdened the hearts of many people in the state, but as law abiding and responsible citizens, we are duty bound to respect the verdict.

We shall carefully study the judgement as soon as possible and will make public our next line of action. But my appeal goes to all our supporters and those that might have been disappointed with the judgement to remain calm, we still have many options available to us but that decision will be made very soon.”

Ogun Govt Denies Alleged Financial Mismanagement

ogun The Ogun State government says that medium term financial strategies have been put in place, to address the short fall from federation account and the Internally Generated Revenue, giving the state a clean bill of health.

The state Commissioner for Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, made the declaration at a press briefing held in Abeokuta, the state capital, against the backdrop of claims that the state is in financial mess, peddled by members of the opposition in the state.

While assuring business operators in the state of continued business friendly environment, the government also denied any plan to reduce its workforce, adding that the allegation by the opposition is malicious and irresponsible.

In recent development, the state government had also announced the payment of salaries deducted from workers salaries and cooperative dues.

ASUU Strike Is Evidence Of FG’s Conspiracy Theory Against Masses – Activist

The International Coordinator of Concerned Human Rights Nigeria, Declan Ihekaire has described the on-going strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) as a ‘conspiracy theory of the federal government against the Nigerian masses,’ adding that the lapses in the education sector of the country are an intentional move to advance the cause of privately owned tertiary institutions.

“You find out that gradually they are killing the public educational sector while they are energising the privately owned institution,” he said during an interview on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, on Wednesday.

To further prove his point, he alleged that all local government councillors in Nigeria have their children enrolled in privately owned institutions and not government owned schools.

He also accused the government of being insincere about its claim to reverberate public tertiary institutions.

He said that the federal government entered into an agreement with ASUU In 2009 to revamp the education sector with a total of N1.2 trillion, a deal the federal government is yet to fulfill. “We should begin to have a federal government that should start thinking about the people first and stop reneging on agreements.
“It is something they should honour,” he said.

Responding to federal government’s claim that the opposition has infiltrated ASUU, Ihekaire said this is ‘nice’. “It is a nice statement”
“I remember they said that too in January during the January 2012 uprising when they said that we, the civil societies, are opposition. It was OK but the issue is that” so many committees were set up afterwards in a bid to resolve the situation.

The civil societies have decided to back up ASUU because “as a parent, I’m afraid that I might not be able to send my children to public institutions in the nearest future. I need to guard the future of my children”.