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Former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, on Wednesday, arrived for continuation of his trial before the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, in a wheelchair.

Metuh was wheeled into the courtroom to continue his defence of the seven-count charge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, preferred against him and his firm, Destra Investment Limited.

EFCC alleged that he had before the 2015 Presidential election, received N400million from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, without executing any contract.

At the resumed proceeding on Wednesday, Metuh through his lawyer, Mr. Emeka Etiaba, SAN, applied to be allowed to travel to the United Kingdom for medical treatment.

Metuh’s lawyer told the court that his client’s health had badly worsned in the past two months.

He said the situation would require urgent medical attention from his doctors in London.

He tendered as an exhibit, a letter from one Dr. Adrian T. H. Kasey, a Neurosurgeon at Wellington Hospital in London, which he said emphasized the need for Metuh to be treated urgently.

However, trial Justice Abang requested both the prosecution and defence lawyers to address him on whether the court could grant Metuh’s request considering that he previously dismissed two similar applications on May 25, 2016 and on February, 2017.

Recall that Metuh was on February 9, brought to court in an ambulance, after Justice Abang threatened to revoke his bail and commit him to prison if he failed to appear for his trial.

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BIG STORY

‘You Hate Me, Don’t Expect Me In Your Office Before October 16’ – Fayose Writes EFCC Again

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Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has once again written the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), affirming his readiness to make himself available at the commission’s Abuja office after October 16, 2018 at 1pm.

Fayose’s constitutional tenure is expected to elapse on October 16.

He, however, accused the anti-graft agency of demonstrating what he tagged “hate prejudice, persecution and partiality.”

Fayose said should the EFCC be so much in a hurry that its investigation cannot wait till October 16, 2018, “without prejudice to Section 308 of the Constitution, I will be willing to answer questions from your team of investigators should they be willing to meet me in my office in Ado Ekiti on the 20th September 2018.

According to a statement issued on Tuesday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said the letter written by the EFCC to the Customs and other agencies, directing them to put him on a watch-list and arrest him if he attempted to leave Nigeria before the expiration of his tenure, raised serious questions about the impartiality, independence or neutrality of the commission.

He reminded the EFCC that “in 2007, precisely on the 19th day of December, I willingly presented myself for investigation at your Lagos office,” adding that “There is therefore nothing new or strange in my letter of 10th September 2018, which has been received and treated in bad faith and taste. I thought I was assisting due and fair process of law.”

The letter dated September 14, 2018, read; “As a responsible citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who currently enjoys immunity under Section 308 of the Constitution, it would amount to a breach of the Constitution which I swore to uphold if I appear in your office on any date earlier than 16th October 2018. If done otherwise, it will set a wrong precedent for the Constitutional Institution that I represent.

“I carefully chose that date (October 16, 2018) being the next day after the expiration of my tenure upon which the immunity I enjoy will lapse to avoid any form of insinuation and was in good faith.

“While drafting my response to your letter of 14th September 2018, my attention was drawn to your widely-publicized letter of September 12, 2018, directing the Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service and similar agencies, to watch-list and arrest me on an imagination that I might leave Nigeria to escape investigation.

“It has finally put in context, your Commission’s hurriedly deleted on-line statement via EFCC Nigeria @OfficialEFCC a day after the Ekiti governorship election that: “The parri is over; the clock of immunity turn apart, and the staff broken. Ekiti Integrated Poultry Project/Biological Concepts Limited N1.3bn fraud case file dusted off the shelves. See you soon.”

“Your Commission by its actions, no doubt has presumed my ‘quilt’ even prior to the commencement of “investigation”.

“This raises the serious question about the impartiality, independence or neutrality of the Commission in the matter. I feel harassed, intimidated and embarrassed by the imputation of crime and the innuendos of criminality underlining your correspondence which has been maliciously circulated widely. This in all implies a case of persecution rather than prosecution.

“While I have handed a copy of your letter to my Solicitors for a careful study and advice, let me state here for the records, that there is nothing about me or my antecedents, as a long-standing public figure to justify the Commission’s action. I have never been a coward or a criminal.

“Notwithstanding, the demonstrated hate and prejudice, I reaffirm my willingness to make myself available to answer questions within my knowledge on the day you may indicate after the expiration of my term of office on the 15th October 2018.

“If for any good reason, your investigation cannot await the date suggested in my earlier letter, without prejudice to Section 308 of the Constitution, I will be willing to answer questions from your team of investigators should they be willing to meet me in my office in Ado Ekiti on the 20th September 2018 indicated in yours.

“Save as above, I will appreciate any date convenient to you after 15th October 2018, otherwise, expect me on the 16th October 2018 at 1pm as earlier stated.”

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BIG STORY

I Have ‘Medicine To Defeat Godfather Terrorizing Lagos’ —- Saraki Boasts

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The Senate President, Bukola Saraki has promised to ensure that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, produces the next governor of Lagos State.

Speaking during his meeting with PDP delegates at the party’s secretariat yesterday, Saraki said he has “the medicine of the man who regards himself as godfather terrorising Lagos State.”

Saraki, a PDP presidential aspirant, said, “What you have been fighting for many years, you will have it during the coming election because you now have somebody that has intention and charisma to deal with those disturbing you.

“I have a medicine of the man who regards himself as godfather terrorising Lagos State. We have their formula, come next year, PDP will take over Lagos.”

The Senate President also warned Nigerians to be mindful of presidential aspirants promising to restructure Nigeria, if elected president.

He said: “Many aspirants will tell you that they will restructure Nigeria, but don’t let them deceive you because restructuring is not something only a president can do because certain laws also need to change.

“So you need a president that has the political sagacity to carry people along. But there are very few aspirants today that possess such charisma. Once I assume office, I will devolve more powers to the state.’’

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BIG STORY

PHOTOS: Osinbajo, Tinubu, Ambode, Captains of Industries Attend Jim Ovia’s Book Launch

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It was indeed the gathering of captains of industries and other top dignitaries at Zenith Bank’s Chairman/Founder Jim Ovia’s book launch ‘AFRICA, ARISE and SHINE’ on Monday in Lagos.

The book, launched at Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos, is essentially about the story of how Zenith Bank commenced operation in the 80s in a rented 4-bedroom duplex with N0.00 and now worth $16billion.

The event which had in attendance great Nigerians such as VP Yemi Osinbajo, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Gov Ambode, CBN Governor Emefiele, Several state governors and other dignitaries who graced the occasion.

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode highlighted the contributions of the Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia to the accountancy and banking professions, calling on leading entrepreneurs in Africa to take time to expose the younger generations to their inspiring story with the view to showing them how to become successful business owners.

Governor Ambode, who spoke at the public presentation of Africa Arise and Shine, a book written by Ovia, said it was important for successful entrepreneurs like the author of the book to tell the story of how they were able to navigate the business climate to inspire others who look forward to being like them.

According to the Governor: “There is nobody that will read this kind of book and will not be inspired and I want to recommend it to everyone.

“It is always very good when people who have been successful in their careers or profession decide to say something about how they really toiled to get to where they are.

“Some people just think people get to be successful without knowing that they actually toiled to become successful and this kind of book inspires our younger ones to become more resourceful and then more inspiring,” Governor Ambode said.

Here are faces from the event:

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