EFCC arrests Nze-Iyamu, PDP chieftain for graft

By Tony Ehighiale, Benin City

A key member and governorship aspirant of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, was on Wednesday afternoon whisked away by the anti-graft agency, Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).He was said to have been arrested shortly after he was screened by the committee of the PDP in Benin the Edo state capital.

The EFCC officials had stormed the secretariat complex where they waited for the committee to screen him and whisked him away in an unmarked white hilux van.

They were said to have arrived the state from its zonal head office in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital.

Findings revealed that the international passport belonging to the Orhiomwon born politician and Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG)  has been seized by officials of the anti graft agency.

It would be recalled that Pastor Ize-Iyamu was among the three PDP governorship aspirants who were screened by the committee chaired by the former minister of Education Prof. Tunde Adenirun while one of them, Mr. Osaro Onaiwu withdrew from the contest citing crisis within the national leadership of the party in Abuja.

The two others also screened included Hon. Matthew Iduoriyekemwen and  Chief Solomon Edebiri.

Also, Ize-Iyamu was invited by the EFCC at its Port Harcourt office among other key leaders of the PDP in the state for questioning last month over N700million arms deal which was allegedly shared by the
leaders during the Presidential election of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan last year.

Source close to the PDP secretariat in Benin City disclosed yesterday that already the EFCC had filed charges against the opposition party’s governorship aspirant over his alleged involvement in the sharing of the N700m funds meant for arms purchase which Edo state chapter of the  party got as campaign fund for last year’s Presidential polls.

It was further learnt that top leaders of the party in the state are sourcing for funds in order to refund the huge sum and to are settle the case out of court as well as to go into plea bargain should the
matter finally come up in court.

Some stakeholders within the party were said to have raised concern over the screening of the RCCG pastor knowing fully well that if given the PDP ticket his involvement in the N700 arms scandal will be used against him by the ruling party, the APC.

However, the leadership of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Labour Party (LP) in the state are said to have thrown their platforms open in wait for the outcome of the PDP primaries come June 20 for one of the governorship aspirants in the state.

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