Olisa Metuh Ready To Return 400 Million Naira

Metuh, Olisa MetuhThe embattled former National Publicity Secretary of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, has restated his readiness to refund the entire N400 million paid to him by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan for publicity prior to the 2015 Presidential election.

Metuh, whose position was made known in a statement by his counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu said he was willing to refund the entire N400 million regardless of the fact that the money had already been expended on the directive of the former President and that the EFCC had already recovered part of the fund from a prosecution witness.

The counsel confirmed that the defence team had been in talks with the Ministry of Justice, the EFCC and other necessary bodies on how to refund the money and resolve the issue.

Ikpeazu said that it has become obvious from the evidence of prosecution and defence witnesses that at the time the money was released to Metuh after his presentation to the ex-President, he had no knowledge of the source.

He, however, 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.

Ikpeazu said refunding the entire sum is in line with Metuh’s support for the ongoing war against corruption in the country and that his client is more of a victim of circumstance.

He pledged his client’s support for the anti-corruption war of the federal government.

Benue LG Election Set For Sept. 3, 2016

Benue State, LG electionThe Benue State Independent Electoral Commission (BSIEC), has fixed September 3, 2016 for the conduct of local government election which was last held in November 2012.

Chairman of the Commission, Mr John Tswua, announced the date at a stakeholders’ meeting with representatives of political parties and traditional rulers.

The commission says it is depending on those present for a peaceful conduct of the election in their domain.

The BSIEC Chairman believes that the successful conduct of election is a function of all the stakeholders’ efforts.

The main opposition party, People Democratic Party (PDP) is convinced the commission will be fair to all in the build up to the election.

Court Dismisses Metuh’s Application To Travel

MetuhThe Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed an application filed by the former National Publicity Secretary, People Democratic Party, Mr Olisa Metuh, asking for the release of his International Passport to enable him travel abroad for medical treatments for a spinal cord aliment.

The trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, while dismissing the application, held that he was concerned that Mr Metuh would abscond and not be available to conclude his trial if he was allowed to travel abroad.

Justice Abang further held that Mr Metuh cannot pretend not to be aware of the existing order of the court on his International Passport.

According to him, Metuh’s application amounted to asking to reverse its earlier order that allowed him to be on bail, since his passport form one of his bail conditions.

He added that a bail condition could only be varied when an accused person has not been able to set the conditions.

He noted that while he was not in a position to question the opinion of the doctor at the National Hospital, Abuja, there was no reasonable evidence from Metuh to prove that no Nigerian hospital was capable of treating him of the spinal cord related illness.

Justice Abang consequently dismissed Metuh’s application for lack of merit and on the ground that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the application since there was a subsisting order of the court asking him to deposit such documents with the Court Registrar.

Metuh had on May 16, applied to the court through his Counsel, Emeka Etiaba (SAN), asking it to return his travel document to enable him travel abroad for five weeks to access medication for a spinal cord related illness.

Metuh Paid N70 Million Into My Relation’s Company Account – Witness

Olisa-Metuh-trialGoing by the speed with which the Federal High Court Abuja is prosecuting the trial of the spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, there is hope that the process may not take too long before it is concluded.

At the resumed trial on Thursday, a witness, Yomi Ogunsanya, said that the sum of 70 million Naira was paid into the account of his relation’s company for the management of the image of the PDP and its presidential candidate, Goodluck Jonathan ahead of the presidential elections.

Mr Ogunsanya, who is the fifth witness, told the court that their first job was appreciating the military in their role in the fight against the terrorist group, Boko Haram operating in the north eastern part of Nigeria through the placement of adverts in several national newspapers and television stations.

A sixth witness, Kabiru Ibrahim, also told the court that he received $1 million from a previous witness, Nneka Ararume, a staff of Assets Resource Management Company (ARM) and an investment officer to Mr Metuh, which he converted to Naira and paid into the account of Destra Investment Limited belonging to Mr Metuh.

He, however, told the court that he never sold Dollars to Mr Metuh at any point in time.

With a request for an adjournment by the prosecutor, Sylvanus Tahir, Justice Okon Abang adjourned further trial till February 4.

Supreme Court Orders Retrial Of Petition Against Gombe Governor

Supreme courtThe Supreme Court has ordered the Gombe State governorship election petition tribunal to re-try the petition against the Governor Ibrahim Dakwambo of the People Democratic Party (PDP).

In a judgement delivered by a full panel of the apex court, the court unanimously dismissed the appeal ‎on ground that the tribunal had only emphasised on technicalities in arriving at its decision.

Reading the judgement, Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun held that the tribunal was wrong to have dismissed the petition on ground of technicalities.

The tribunal sitting in Gombe had earlier dismissed the petition filed by the African Democratic Congress (ADC) challenging the victory of Governor Dankwambo in the April 11 governorship elections.

The petition was nullified and dismissed by the tribunal on the ground of competency of the petitioner’s counsel, Sam Kagbo, as a legal practitioner.

The petitioner’s counsel had signed the petition as Sam Kagbo whereas on the roll of lawyers, the name is Sam Peter Kagbo.

Not satisfied with the ruling, ADC approached the Court of Appeal challenging the decision and the Court of Appeal in its judgement ordered the tribunal to retry the petition.

Governor Dakwambo later approached the apex court seeking to set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal.

Abia APGA Frowns At State Assembly Inauguration’s Indefinite Suspension

APGAThe All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in Abia State, South-east Nigeria, has frowned at the suspension of inauguration of the 6th Abia State of House of Assembly.

The 5th Assembly is expected to round off their constitutional obligations as legislators to usher in the 6th Assembly that constitute 24 members.

The Clerk of the State House of Assembly, Don Pedro Irokansi, had indefinitely suspended the inauguration of the 6th Assembly scheduled to hold on June 8, 2015.

In their reactions, the Abia State APGA Chairman, Augustine Ehiemere, and the party’s State Secretary, Sunday Onukwubiri, noted that it is unconstitutional and an act of illegality.

They called on the Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, to tow the right path and ensure that the 6th House of Assembly is inaugurated as scheduled.

The public announcement attributed by the Clerk of the Assembly had stressed that the winner from Isiala Ngwa South State Constituency has not been issued with the Certificate of Return by the INEC but the excuse was not acceptable by the APGA, adding that they wondered what the governance would look like without the legislative arm.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Spokesman, Edwin Enabor, has also explained that the INEC office at the Isiala Ngwa South Local Government was gutted by fire, and this affected the original statement of result for the State House of Assembly.

Mr Enabor added that the commission in Abuja had recently approved to send a substitute statement of result to enter the result of election.

He also gave the assurance that INEC was tidying up the process to ensure that the winner of the Isiala Ngwa South Constituency gets the Certificate of Return as soon as possible.

Meanwhile an Umuahia based lawyer, Barrister Nnamdi Eluwa, said that the announcement made by the Clerk, to postpone the inauguration is sustained, observing that it would amount to constitutional crisis.

For now, APGA has about 11 seats and the People Democratic Party (PDP) has 12 seats and fingers are crossed to wait for the final outcome, whether or not the sixth house would be inaugurated as scheduled.

PDP Youths Protest Alleged Manipulation Of Primaries

PDPAngry protesters have stormed Ahoda street in Rivers State to protest the outcome of the just concluded PDP senatorial primaries, claiming it was fraudulent and manipulated by the party against the popular wishes of the people.

The protesters, who marched to the Party Secretariat in Ahoada to bare their minds, insisted that the party is set to lose in the elections if these issues are not resolved.

However, in a swift reaction, a leader of the PDP in the state debunked the claims, insisting that the party ran a transparent primary calling on the protesters to sheathe their swords.

With protests greeting the emergence of many candidates across the country, it remains to be seen how this will affect the eventual outcome of the 2015 elections.

PDP Makes Race For Presidential Ticket Open

Goodluck Jonathan with party nomination form.The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has thrown open the race for the party’s presidential ticket, giving room for other aspirants to contest for the position.

President Goodluck Jonathan had earlier be given an endorsement as the sole candidate of the party.

In what now looks like a change of mind, the leadership of the PDP in a statement on Monday signed by its publicity secretary, Mr Olisa Metuh, said “all aspirants who paid for nomination forms, including the presidential form but yet to collect same, should come to the PDP National Secretariat….with verifiable evidence of payment for purpose of collection of their forms”.

Two aspirants had earlier approached the party headquarters to purchase presidential nomination forms but were turned down.

They were told that the party had only one nomination form for the position of the President and that it had been given to President Jonathan.

The members, however, protested that stance, an action apparently responsible for the decision to make the position open for contest.

The party also announced an extension of the deadline for the purchase and collection of all nomination forms till the November 6.

President Goodluck Jonathan had on October 30 collected the nomination form at the party’s national office and had thanked the party for giving him the the sole candidacy.

Going by the statement of November 3, that decision has now been upturned.

Gbenga Daniel Attends PDP Event

Gbenga Daniel.The former Governor of Ogun State in south-west Nigeria, Mr Gbenga Daniel, may have concluded plans to rejoin his former leaders and colleagues in the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as he made a grand appearance at an event held at the Goodluck Jonathan Political Centre in Ijebu Igbo area of the state.

His appearance may have put to end speculations and insinuations surrounding his eventual return to the umbrella party, which he left in 2011 during the crisis of leadership that pitched him against a former President, Olusegun Obasanjo.

Mr Daniel and Mr Obasanjo had disagreements over who will control the party’s leadership in the build up to 2011 elections.

Speaking on the development, the National Auditor of the Party, Professor Adewale Oladipo, said Mr Daniel’s return had become imperative in order to reposition the fortunes of the party for greater success in the coming general elections.

To effectively achieve this, the national auditor urged all members to be more committed and united to ensure the return of President Goodluck Jonathan as the president of Nigeria while the umbrella party reclaims the governorship of the state in the next governorship elections.

Osun Elections: Sowunmi Commends President Jonathan For Military Presence

Mr. Segun SowunmiA member of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Segun Sowunmi, has commended the efforts of President Goodluck Jonathan for deploying the military during the just concluded Osun elections.

He said that the presence of the military was not to scare people but a form of “some devices during the election polls”.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, on Tuesday, Mr Sowunmi criticised the All Progressives Congress (APC) behaviour during the elections and explained that his party (PDP) would go to court. “We are not screaming or burning tyres, we just told them we’ll look at the process and go to court”.

He addressed the issue of security operatives wearing mask, explaining that no political party has the power to indicate how security operatives will appear when duty calls, but called on all political parties to help in building Nigeria in order to give Nigeria a good image.

He pointed out that the PDP sent out congratulatory messages to the winner of the Osun state elections and advised that the opposition party should take a cue from them.

Mr Sowunmi further explained that most of the politicians that were turned back or stopped from going to Ekiti before the election violated the rules of ‘no movement’ given by the government in that state.

On the 2015 general elections, he also noted that there would be lack of disturbance because everybody would be busy trying to vote in their own state.  “You won’t see people from Ogun state running to Lagos when they have their own business to face.”

He debunked rumors making the round that the presence of the military during the elections instilled fear in the citizens of the state and insisted that all political parties should help in rebuilding Nigeria.

We’ve Not Started Fighting Corruption – CLO

The Executive Secretary of the Civil Liberty Organisation (CLO), Ezike Ibuchukwu on Tuesday said that Nigeria has not begun the fight to eradicate corruption that is crippling the development of the country.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Ibuchukwu said there is still “monumental corruption, abuse of due process, non-enforcement of the rule of law, and abuse of human rights” in Nigeria.

Making a reference to the reception party organized for the leader of the South West Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bode George, who had served a prison term after being convicted of corruption charges, Mr Ibuchukwu said Nigeria rather than scold corrupt officials prefers to celebrate them.

OGUN LG Polls: Court nullifies lists of PDP candidates

Another controversy has embroiled the just concluded local government elections in Ogun state as the High Court in Ilaro has nullified the list of candidates presented for the poll by the People Democratic Party (PDP).

The Presiding judge, Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu in her ruling on Friday nullified the list of candidates of the Ireti Oniyide faction, which is loyal to the former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The Ireti Oniyide faction was recognized by the state electoral body despite a Lagos High Court directive that the Bayo Dayo led faction should be recognized in the election which had the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) claimed a land slide victory.

The PDP won nine counsellorship seats in the election which held two weeks ago.

Ahead of the polls, two factions of the PDP laid claims to the party’s endorsement but the Ireti Oniyide faction was given the chance to contest.

Reacting to the judgment, the chairman screening committee of Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC), Mutiu Agboke, said that the content and the consequential order of the court was still sketchy.

He however added that the commission would appeal the judgment if there is a need for it.

The factional chairman of the party, Bayo Dayo, expressed delight at the judgment saying it was well deserved.