Angry Olisa Metuh tears statement he made to EFCC; Saraki in closed door meeting with Buhari; Presidency again denies withdrawing 2016 budget; 2016 Budget missing at National Assembly; Olisa Metuh opens up finally – ‘Jonathan gave me N400 million’ . . .
$2.1 billion Arms Scandal: Angry Olisa Metuh tears statement he made to EFCC
The embattled spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday tore a statement he voluntarily made to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission regarding his alleged involvement in the $2.1billion arms fraud being investigated by the anti-graft agency.
Premium Times reports that those familiar with the matter said Mr. Metuh tore the statement after it was presented to him by the investigating officer for endorsement, as part of preparations for his prosecution.
“Rather than sign the document, Metuh on realising the weight of his confession, seized the documents and proceeded to tear them,” one of our sources said.
He added that the PDP spokesperson later tried to stuff the papers into his mouth in a bid to swallow them when he was stopped by operatives who managed to recovered the torn pieces of papers from him.
Another source in the EFCC said the attempt by Mr. Metuh to destroy a major evidence in the case against him was an offence which could attract a separate charge in court.
“The tearing of statement is tantamount to willful destruction of government property and it is a serious offence,” the official said.
“Also the fact that he obstructed operatives from performing their job is also a criminal offence. We will explore the possibility of filling a separate charge against him at the Federal Capital Territory High Court.”
Saraki in closed door meeting with Buhari
Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Saraki on Tuesday afternoon paid a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja.
The meeting was not opened to the press as it held behind closed doors.
There was no clue as to whether the visit was connected to the alleged missing 2016 budget which has been submitted to the National Assembly.
Attempts made by the State House Correspondents to confirm or refute the missing budget were unproductive as Saraki did not comment when asked.
Presidency again denies withdrawing 2016 budget
The Presidency on Tuesday again said President Muhammadu Buhari has not withdrawn the 2016 Budget from the National Assembly.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said this in his reaction to enquiries made on the whereabouts of the document.
There were reports earlier in the day that the document had been declared missing in the National Assembly.
“Nobody except the President can withdraw the budget.
As far as we know, he hasn’t done that.
The copies in their hundreds have been delivered to both chambers of the National Assembly.
By tradition, once the budget is submitted, it ceases to be our property.
Enquiries as to where it is should be directed to the appropriate quarters”
– Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity
Ojukwu’s niece, four others arrested for importing cocaine
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Tuesday, arrested Ijeoma Ojukwu, a niece of late Ikemba Nnewi, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu and three others just as the anti-graft agency quizzed staff over the importation of 2.24 kilogrammes of cocaine from Brazil.
The arrest came after an abandoned luggage from Brazil was found to contain 2.24 kilogrammes of cocaine at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos which subsequently led to the arrest of the five suspects.
Those arrested and interrogated include Ali Bala Adamu, a staff of the NDLEA, Ijeoma Ojukwu,Victor Umeh, Uche Igwelo and Egbuche Fidelis Osiita.
Speaking on the arrest, Chairman of the NDLEA, Mrs. Roli Bode-George said that the agency would prosecute whoever was found guilty.
2016 Budget missing at National Assembly
The 2016 budget proposal submitted to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari is reportedly missing.
Recall that President Buhari had on Tuesday, December 22, 2015, presented the budget proposal to the joint session of the National Assembly.
But about two weeks later, news of the withdrawal of the budget filtered round.
The disappearance of the budget document was announced during a closed door session at the National Assembly that lasted 90 minutes.
It was said that Senate Leader Ali Ndume made the disclosure during the closed door session, even as the Senators were supposed to commence the consideration of the N6.08tr budget today.
Olisa Metuh opens up finally – ‘Jonathan gave me N400 million’
The detained National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh, has said he is cooperating with the Economic and Financial Crime Commission.
The PDP chieftain said he had volunteered statements to the anti-graft agency in which he explained his role in the alleged arms scandal money.
Metuh, in a statement by his Special Assistant Mr. Richard Ihediwa, in Abuja on Tuesday, said:
his office wishes to state categorically that Chief Metuh has fully cooperated with investigators within his constitutionally guaranteed rights.
“In exercise of his rights, he has since given his statement to the EFCC wherein he submitted that he received the sum of N400m from the former President for an assignment, which he executed to the satisfaction of the former President.
“In further exercise of his rights, Metuh has also indicated his readiness to make public the nature of this assignment, but only in an open court in line with the laws of the land, and where his statement would not be distorted by anybody.
“Metuh, therefore, believes that his continued incarceration and failure to charge him to court are deliberately intended to prevent him from telling his own story in the open court for all Nigerians to know.”
Olisa Metuh has been in detention since Tuesday last week.
Why we’ve not arrested Jonathan — EFCC boss
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) explained yesterday why it has not arrested former President Goodluck Jonathan following startling revelations on how the former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd.) allegedly disbursed over $2.1 billion meant for arms purchase to various members of the PDP party leadership and individuals.
Explaining why the former president has not been arrested while speaking with online news publishers yesterday, in Lagos, the EFCC boss, Mr Ibrahim Magu said that no document has been traced to Jonathan giving any approval for the disbursement of the money for any purpose other than arms purchase.
He said that all those questioned so far in connection with the money were people who disbursed or collected it for reasons other than the purchase of arms and ammunition.
“All approvals by former president Jonathan did not mention that it was for political purposes.
Addressing Journalists yesterday in Abuja, PDP Deputy National Publicity Secretary Abdullahi Jalo said, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is alive, he should clarify whether he asked the National Security Adviser to distribute money meant to fight Boko Haram into his campaign.
Alleged senate forgery: Ekweremadu accuses judge of bias
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has asked the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Abuja, to transfer the case of perjury preferred against him by some members of the All Progressives Congress in the senate, from the judge currently handling it, to an independent judge.
Ekweremadu, who is the Second Defendant in the suit filed by Senator Abu Ibrahim and four others against the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and five others on the alleged forgery of the senate Standing Order 2015, alleged that Justice A. Ademola, who is handling the case, was biased.
He further alleged in his letter dated 17th December 2015, and obtained by aPunch correspondent on Tuesday, that since the suit was filed, his counsel had been subjected to various acts of intimidation and harassment by Justice Ademola.
He said, ” Any independent bystander in court cannot but arrive at the conclusion that Justice Ademola is clearly biased in this matter and is working to a predetermined conclusion.”
Ekweremadu’s letter reads, ” My Lord, in the circumstances, there is a real likelihood of bias on the part of Hon . Justice Ademola and I do not have confidence in his ability to do impartial justice in this case.
“I therefore humbly request that this matter be recalled from Hon . Ademola’s court and transfered/ reassigned to any other judge for hearing and speedy determination.”
The deputy senate president attached with the letter, a formal application for transfer of the suit in accordance with Order 49 Rule 2 of the Federal High Court Rules.
Ekweremadu and five others including Saraki and the Clerk to the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Maikashuwa, were dragged to the Federal High Court in June last year for allegedly forging the Senate Standing Order used to elect the current principal officers of the Eighth Senate.
How I shared the N100 million given to me – Nwobodo
Former Anambra state governor, Chief Jim Nwobodo, has stated that he did not receive N500m as rumoured, instead he got N100m which he he disbursed.
Nwobodo who stated categorically that he has never met ex-National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, said he received the N100m from former PDP National Chairman Adamu Mu’azu, whose wherabouts the EFCC does not know.
In a statement issued by John Okoreni on his behalf, Nwobodo said:
“The attention of Senator (Dr.) Jim Nwobodo has been drawn to news items where it was mentioned that he received the sum of one hundred million naira (N100,000,000) from Bashir Yuguda, ex-Minister of State for Finance for the purpose of the last presidential election.
“Senator (Dr.) Jim Nwobodo states as follows: That he was the chairman of the Contact Committee of the PDP Presidential campaign for the South East Zone
“The Committee was appointed by the party and inaugurated by its then National Chairman, Dr. Adamu Mu’azu
“That the Committee oversaw the five states of the Zone, namely: Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo State
“Members of the Committee were three for each state; Senator Jim Nwobodo, Chairman (Enugu), Chief Onyema Ogochukwu, Secretary (Abia), Ambassador Ojo Maduekwe (Abia), Senator Adolphus Wabara (Abia), Prof. A.B.C. Nwosu (Anambra), Senator Ben Ndi Obi (Anambra), Senator Joy Emodi (Anambra), Ambassador Frank Ogbuweu (Ebonyi), Senator Ben Collins Ndu (Enugu), Ambassador Fidel Ayogu (Enugu), Chief Emmanuel Iwanyanwu (Imo), Chief Achike Udenwa (Imo) and Chief Innocent Nwoga (Imo).
“That the only fund received by the committee for its work in the five South-Eastern states was N100million and the money was received from the then National Chairman of PDP, Dr. Adamu Muazu, for logistics, travelling, mobilisation of party members in the zone for the presidential election.
“That the fund was properly disbursed to the states and duly signed by members of the Committee for each State and accounted for to the party.
“That at no time did Senator Jim Nwobodo receive the money from any person other than the then National Chairman of the party.
“That it would be unusual for Senator Nwobodo and other members of his committee to query the source of the campaign fund coming from the National Chairman of his party for official functions and purposes.
“This statement is meant to put the records straight and correct the impression making round in the media on the alleged distribution of money by Bashir Yuguda as it concerns Senator Nwobodo.