Four deputy national officers of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP have called on the party’s national publicity secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, acting national chairman, Uche Secondus, and chairman of its Board of Trustees, BoT, Dr Bello Haliru Mohammed, to step aside following their arraignment by the EFCC.
This is even as the detained spokesman of the party has denied reports that he tore his statement and attempted to swallow it after interrogation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
However, the four deputy national officers, Dennis Alonge-Niyi, deputy national youth leader; Bashir Maidugu, deputy national legal adviser; Mr Okey Nnaedozie, deputy national organising secretary, and Abdullahi Jalo, deputy national publicity secretary, who are seeking the ouster of the principal officers of the party, claimed that their position followed Metuh and Bello’s arraignment by the EFCC, noting that the arraignment of the two was a taint on the image of the party, irrespective of whether they were found guilty or not by the court.
“It is disheartening that a party which was formed as a vanguard for popular democracy, good governance and the restoration of national values is now being deliberately ridiculed by both the governing All Congress, APC, and some of its compromised officers.
“We hereby strongly dissociate the Peoples Democratic Party from the ongoing trials of Dr. Bello Haliru Mohammed (acting chairman, Board of Trustees) and Chief Olisa Metuh (national publicity secretary) on various charges by the anti graft agencies.
“This is because the charges against them are in their individual capacities and not acting on behalf of the party.
“They are said to have received funds using accounts of their private companies without the knowledge and instructions of any organ of the party.
“All those mentioned in the ongoing corruption trial are therefore on their own and the party was not involved financially or in any way with the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, or any other organ of the federal government in the last regime.
“They must bear full responsibility for their actions and must henceforth refrain from dragging the name of the party into the mud.”
I never tore EFCC statement
Meanwhile, Chief Metuh has denied tearing any statement he made to the anti-graft agency.
He made the denial when he was reached at the weekend by some members of the PDP in Kuje Prison, Abuja, where he is currently being remanded on the orders of the court.
The detained PDP spokesman decried the report as propaganda, saying that the last time he saw his interrogators was the second day after they picked him up from his residence.
He urged his visitors to inform Nigerians that he had no reason to swallow the suspect statement as reported in some media and added that he could not go into more details since the matter was now before the court.
“They said I ate paper? Tell them o, I did not eat any paper. I don’t know where they got that from. Matter of fact, the last contact I had with those people was the next day after I was arrested, when I told them to charge me to court.”
On the confession he was said to have made, Metuh said: “Confession? Confess what again? These people sef! Anyway, the matter is in court. If I speak on it now it would be sub-judice.”
Quoting him further, it said: “Please, say hello to everyone and tell them to be strong and not to worry about me. I am fine.
“At least now I qualify to be called a brave man right? Please tell them that God is still God and except He wills it, the truth will come to light and justice will be done on this matter.”
Reports emerged last week that Metuh had torn his confessional statement to the EFCC regarding his alleged involvement in the $2.1billion arms scandal being investigated by the anti-graft agency.
According to the report, he tore the statement after it was presented to him for his signature by the investigating officer and later attempted to swallow the pieces before they were recovered by the EFCC operatives.
…Party disowns deputies over call for Bello, Metuh to step aside
National leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday disowned call by four deputy national officers on the chairman of the party’s BoT, Bello Haliru Mohammed, and the spokesman, Chief Olisa Metuh, to step aside over their arraignment by Economic And Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The deputies also called on the acting national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, to quit office following a court order that stopped him from acting in absence of a substantive chairman.
Reacting to the statement by the deputy national officers, Prince Secondus said the statement was a product of malice and ignorance on the part of the aggrieved deputies.
“They took us to court and we have appealed. They are ignorant of the law. The constitution is clear that in the absence of chairman, the deputy assumes position.
“They are doing it out of malice and ignorance. They are being used by the other party to destabilise us, but we aren’t going to be distracted; we are strong.
“I haven’t assumed the office of chairman I am still the deputy chairman. I am only administering in acting capacity. They aren’t the authorised organ of the party. There is nothing like association of deputies.