The governor of Delta state, Emmanuel Uduaghan last week appointed to his cabinet, Mofe Pirah, whom his government is also prosecuting for murder.
According to court documents available to SaharaReporters, Mr. Pirah and 10 accused persons have recently received summonses from the Court of Appeal in Benin City for the September 1998 murder of Mr Samuel .A.K Metseagharun in Warri.
In the incident, Mr. Metseagharun, a former chairman and sole administrator of Delta State Board of Inland Revenue and Chairman of the Ugborodo (Escravos) Community Trust Governing Council, was allegedly dragged out of his Mercedes Benz car and beaten to death by a crowd which included Mr. Pirah.
The Delta State Government objected to the verdict of the High Court which dismissed the murder charges against Mr. Pirah and his co-accused, and filed a notice of appeal through its lawyers led by Ighodalo Imadegbelo (SAN).
Saharareporters sources claim that before Mr. Pirah was made commissioner of "Oil and Gas," he had bragged on behalf of himself and the other accused persons that there was no threat from the Court of Appeal, claiming that they have reserved N300 million for the judges involved in the case. He also told family members that they gave the same amount to Hon. Justice S.A. Ehiwario, who decided the case at the high court in 2007.
When SaharaReporters contacted the Commissioner of information of Delta State, Chike Ogeah, he admitted that Mr. Pirah was indeed the person appointed as commissioner by his boss. Curiously, he also said the state was satisfied with the high court case which dismissed the charges against Pirah and others. Asked if he knew about the appeal, it became even more curious when, following consultations with the Attorney General of the state, he answered in the affirmative.
That means that Governor Uduaghan, who is using official resources to pay lawyers to prosecute Mr. Pirah, is now also using official resources to cater for Mr. Pirah as a commissioner.
Analysts told SaharaReporters today that it is obvious that the governor has already decided the case at the Court of Appeal, and that Mr. Pirah’s boast that the case will be taken care of has Mr. Uduaghan’s support and perhaps, as much as N300 million walking-around money.
The bizarre situation in Delta State is the latest in Nigeria governments in which the president and some governors appoint relatives, friends, cronies and party-members to office no matter how questionable their integrity or track record.