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Is Edo Governorship Candidate, Ize-Iyamu, standing trial for N700m Corruption Case?

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President Muhammed Buhari met Pastor Ize Iyamu, the APC gubernatorial candidate for the forthcoming Edo Elections, on August 7 and handed him the APC flag, a gesture which signifies that the President has endorsed his ambition.

Following the Friday event in Aso Rock, several tweets rolled out, questioning the support by the president. A Twitter User, @Emmaikumeh wondered why Buhari will show such public support considering that Ize is being probed for an alleged N700 million corruption case.

“It’s obvious Buhari doesn’t hate, I wonder how a man that’s facing corruption under the same Buhari’s admin, imagine handing over the APC flag to Ize Iyamu, a man he’s probing over N700M.  A supposed man of Integrity endorsing a man facing Criminal trial. Wonders shall never end,” he tweeted. 

Screenshot of the tweet by @Emmaikumeh

Another Tweet by @MazimosesAgbo compared 2014 events with the present one. It reads “Olisa Metu received the sum of 200 million naira from Sambo Dazuki for the presidential campaign of 2014/15, he is now in jail. While @OfficialAPCNg and @MBuhari regime endorsed Ize Iyamu who has a standing corruption case of N700 million naira….zoo is zoo”

screenshot of the tweet by @MazimosesAgbo  

A similar tweet has also been found here. From the above tweets, Dubawa fact checked two claims:

CLAIM 1: Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu, a candidate in the Edo governorship election, is being probed for an alleged N700 million naira corruption.

VERDICT: TRUE. The claims that the All Progressive Congress’ candidate for the September 19th Edo governorship elections, Ize Iyamu, is standing a N700 million Naira corruption case is true. This is supported by information from credible news platforms.

VERIFICATION

In the bid to verify this claim, Dubawa conducted a keyword search which produced a Vanguard Newspaper report from 2018. In this report, Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu and 4 others were arraigned before the Court over alleged laundering of N700 million. However, they pleaded not guilty and were placed on a 10million naira bail each.

Also, more recently, a July 2nd, 2020 report by Premium Times has it that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, “had filed eight-count charges against the accused persons (Ize Iyamu; former Edo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Dan Orbih; the state chairman of the party, Tony Aziegbemi; former Deputy Governor of Edo State Lucky Imasuen, and Efe Erimuoghae-Anthony.) bordering on alleged illegal receipt of public funds to the tune of N700 million for the purpose of the 2015 general elections.” 

As of now, this case is still pending. At the last court appearance, the trial was adjourned till October 15. 

CONCLUSION

Dubawa’s findings support the claim that the All Progressive Congress’ candidate for the September 19th Edo governorship elections, Ize Iyamu, is standing a N700 million Naira corruption case. 

CLAIM 2: Olisa Metu is in jail for receiving N200m Naira from Sambo Dasuki for the 2014/15 presidential campaign. 

VERDICT: Mostly False. Dubawa’s findings revealed that, although Olisa Metuh is in jail for receiving money from Sambo Dasuki, the quoted amount (200 million naira) is not accurate. According to many credible platforms, the former PDP spokesperson was found guilty of a crime with N400 million and not N200 million as claimed.

VERIFICATION

After searching both Olisa Metuh and Sambo Dazuki on google, Dubawa came across news stories from credible websites, one of which is this report by Premium Times. According to the report, Olisa Metuh, the former spokesperson to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was arrested in 2015

Vanguard reported that Olisa Metuh was arraigned alongside his company by the EFCC for a seven-count criminal charge that borders on criminal breach of trust and illegal diversion of public funds to the tune of N400million.  In another report by Vanguard, EFCC told the court that the “fund was released to Metuh and his firm by former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki, retd.” It also added that the‎ money ‎was part of “about $2.1billion earmarked for the purchase of arms to fight insurgency in the North East.”

He was, however, found guilty of a seven-count charge of laundering N400 million on February 25th, 2020 in a trial that started in 2016.

CONCLUSION

While it is true that Olisa Metuh received funds from Sambo Dasuki, it is worth noting that the quoted amount in the tweet is not accurate. Credible news reports have shown that the former PDP spokesperson was found guilty of a crime involving N400m, not N200m as disclosed by the claim-source.

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