N2 billion fraud: Former PDP presidential aspirant missing

Former Governor of Plateau State, and PDP presidential aspirant, Jonah Jang, N2 billion fraud case was unable to continue after the sitting senator was absent from court, a situation which stalled his trial.

Jang contested for the post of president under the platform of the PDP but was unable to get the party ticket after he was defeated at the party primaries which took place in Port Harcourt some few weeks ago. The ticket was eventually won by former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.

At the resumption of the sitting, counsel to the first accused person (Jonah Jang), Robert Clarke (SAN), told the court that his client (Jang) would not be able to come to court due to his health challenge.

According to him, the court graciously gave four days in December to enable the continuation of the trial.

“We have submitted a medical report that the first defendant won’t be able to come to court because he has High Blood Pressure and high sugar level. And the doctor has advised that he should at least rest for one week and that was why we sort today’s adjournment.”

In response, counsel to EFCC Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) said, even though he is not pleased with the reason given by the defence counsel, he has agreed to a later date for hearing to continue.

It would be recalled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, May 7, 2018, preferred a 12-count fraud charge against Senator Jang, for alleged misappropriation of over N6.3billion two months to the end of his tenure as governor.

According to the charges, Jang, allegedly embezzled some special funds released to the state by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The presiding judge, Justice Daniel Longji, adjourned the case to the 4, 5, 6 and 7 December, 2018 for continuation of hearing on the matter.

 

 

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“Why it is time for the Middle Belt to produce Nigeria’s president”- Jonah Jang

A Presidential aspirant under the platform of the PDP and former governor of Plateau State, Senator Jonah Jang, has stated that to ensure fairness, justice and equity, the Middle Belt region of the country should be supported by other regions to produce the next president. This was disclosed by the Acting Director-General of his campaign team, Professor Shedrack Best, while briefing journalists in Jos, the Plateau State Capital.

Best said the Middle Belt needed to produce the next President of the country and that Jang from the region had all it takes to represent the people and give quality leadership in the country.

“It is with great pleasure that we bring to the notice of the public, that Distinguished Senator Jonah David Jang has picked and submitted his nomination form for the Presidential race. Senator Jang represents the Middle Belt, the region with millions of registered voters who want the Presidency this time around.

“We have supported others before. It is their turn now to also support us”, he explained. While we do not begrudge those zones that have benefitted repeatedly, we demand that in the spirit of one Nigeria, for the inclusion of minorities, for the purpose of fair play and equity, the Middle Belt should be given the chance and supported in 2019,” he added.

He also stressed that, “Senator Jang is not in the race to step down for anybody, he is in the race to win.

“He believes in Nigeria as a great nation and in its oneness, he has what it takes to take Nigeria to be among the top nations of the world in no distant future.

“The Middle Belt is at the centre of the north, it is the glue of the north, the bridge of Nigeria, the guarantor of national unity and oneness, and has sustained the north over time.

“Sadly, however, this zone has yet to produce an elected President. We need the support of all to make this happen”.

The Director General also debunked the rumour that the Senator had stepped down from his Presidential ambition, saying he was not in the race to step down for anybody but to win and salvage the country from the scourge of bad leadership.

David Mark, Jonah Jang draws battle line against Saraki over North Central PDP consensus bid

Former Senate President  David Mark and ex-Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang  and their supporters are angry over alleged moves  by  Senate President Bukola Saraki to  engineer the selection of a consensus presidential candidate for  the PDP from the North-central zone. All three are seeking the party’s ticket for the 2019 presidential election.

A report at the weekend, from Saraki’s camp, suggested that elders in the zone had opted to pick a consensus aspirant from the zone to contest with similar aspirants from the Northwest and North-east. However, loyalists of Mark and Jang are not amused by the report.

Mark’s camp, in particular, warned PDP against imposition of candidates.

The supporters said the consensus agenda was a plot to ambush their principals to forego their presidential aspirations for Saraki.

Mark’s loyalists, The Nation gathered, were uncomfortable that a private session organized by Saraki was turned into a consensus forum.

“What happened on Wednesday was not a meeting of Northcentral leaders per se. It was Saraki who conveyed the session to brief some leaders from our zone on his presidential aspiration.  The former President of the Senate, Chief David Mark was not even there,” a source in Mark’s camp said.

“There was no communiqué agreeing on consensus. The leaders only advised the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of PDP, Sen. Walid Jibril to set up a committee to consult with the three aspirants from North-Central and come out with something.

“They asked the committee to liaise with the aspirants from the zone. No one is talking of a consensus candidate at all.

“The session was more of a personal agenda by Saraki because at the end of the day, a statement from the gathering was signed by the Director-General, Abubakar Bukola Saraki Campaign Organization, Wakil Mohammed.

“With such a sensitive decision on consensus, should the statement come from Saraki’s Campaign DG or stakeholders in Northcentral? Shouldn’t there be a communiqué?

“Why must only a party be the one to sign and issue a statement? We are suspicious of the session; it was a ploy to outsmart other aspirants in the zone.”

Responding to a question, the source said: “The former President of the Senate has not been consulted on consensus option; he is going ahead with his aspiration and plans for primaries.”

A reliable source in Jang’s camp said: “The meeting was called by the Northcentral zone of the PDP at the request of Saraki. It was chaired by the Zonal Chairman,  Theophillus Dakas Shan,  himself.

“Saraki wanted to brief the zone about his ambition. It was not a Middle Belt meeting but Northcentral and consensus was not up for discussion.

“Actually, it was ex-Governor Babangida Aliyu who urged the meeting to set up a small committee to encourage the three aspirants from the Northcentral to discuss among themselves.

“Going by our plans, Jang will on Monday submit his presidential nomination form.”

When contacted, the Zonal Chairman, Shan said: “We didn’t reach any agreement on consensus.

“We resolved to allow our elders in PDP in Northcentral to talk to all the aspirants. If there is a possibility, we will bring one candidate and if it is impossible, they will go for the primaries.

“Whatever we are going to do, the three aspirants must reach an agreement.”

Asked if the PDP in the zone had raised a committee on consensus by the three aspirants, Shan said: “We are not going to set up any committee; our elders will talk to the aspirants.”

He admitted that Saraki came around to brief Northcentral PDP on his presidential aspiration.

He added: “We are expecting Mark and Jang to come and brief us on their presidential aspiration too.”

A former governor in one of the Northcentral states said: “I think the DG of Saraki Campaign Organization misrepresented the meeting. There was a suggestion by the President of the Senate for the adoption a consensus candidate by PDP Northcentral which does not amount to automatic recommendation.”

In an address at the session on Wednesday, Saraki said: “Leaders from the North Central need to work together to ensure that a PDP candidate emerges from the zone.

“It is clear that the only way to achieve unity in the country is when you have a leader who can manage the differences and galvanize our energy towards achieving development.

“It is not about where you come from, but it is about what you can do for our country. If there is anybody who can do better than those of us in the North Central Zone, let them stand up.

“It is important that in October, our delegates from the Northcentral should work to ensure that a Northcentral candidate emerges – and they should work together with delegates from across the country to ensure that a Northcentral candidate emerges. We request your support.”

 

Former Plateau Gov. Jonah Jang To Contest 2019 Presidential Election

Senator Jonah Jang (PDP-Plateau North) has declared his intention to contest for the 2019 presidential election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

This is made known by an associate of Jang, Professor Shedrach Best, in an interview with the Tribune.

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Best revealed that the former Plateau Governor has submitted his letter of intent to the National Secretariat of the PDP in Abuja and also made a declaration at his constituency.

He said: “After he submitted his letter of intent to contest at the National Secretariat of the PDP in Abuja, he had a wide consultation and meeting with his followers in his constituency and got the nod of the people to contest for the number one seat.

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“Senator Jang decided to throw his hat into the ring having examined the state of the nation especially the insecurity, energy, bad economy and lack of purposeful direction by those in leadership positions in the country. He joined the race primarily to make a difference.”

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“PDP has zoned presidency to the North, the North Central otherwise called the Middle Belt has not enjoyed representation through electoral governance, it is the belief of Senator Jang that since North Central is part of the North it should be given an opportunity this time around,” he added.

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Best also disclosed that Jang will start campaign this week from Plateau State, where it will be taken to other parts of Nigeria.