Halt Tinubu, sack Keyamo to prove you’re serious about credible polls, PDP tells Buhari
Nothing short of the immediate arrest and prosecution of Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) over alleged corruption and soiling his hands in drug business and the sacking of Festus Keyamo, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, will satisfy the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Only by doing so, would the government in power and its agencies would prove that President Muhammadu Buhari’s vow to enthrone a credible electoral process, was not an empty talk, Daniel Bwala, spokesman for the PDP Presidential Campaign Council (PDP-PCC, maintained on Sunday, few days after the APC made a similar demand over former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar the candidate of the main opposition party.
Bwala, who said the demand was based on drug proceeds allegedly forfeited by Tinubu in the US and other corruption allegations against him, told reporters: “On the eve of the presidential elections in Lagos, two cash-laden bullion vans were seen on his premises located at 26 Bourdillon Street, Ikoyi which was ostensibly for vote buying.
“When journalists asked him about the bullion vans, Tinubu again responded by saying that it was his money and he was free to spend it whichever way he liked. Tinubu said: ‘Even if I have money to spend in my premises, what is your headache?’
“A group of forthright activists including Ariyo Dare-Atoye and Deji Adeyanju wrote a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on October 25, 2019, calling for the investigation and prosecution of Tinubu for breaching the Money Laundering Act after publicly admitting to sharing millions of naira on the eve of elections.
“In fairness to the EFCC, its current Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, while he was the head of the Lagos office of the EFCC, wrote a letter to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB). In the letter marked CR/3000/EFCC/LS/Vol4/322, dated November 6, 2020, Bawa requested Tinubu’s asset declaration forms.
“Since Tinubu emerged as the presidential candidate of the APC, the EFCC has kept mum on the issue while Ariyo who wrote the petition has unfortunately died. We, hereby, call on the EFCC to provide an update on this matter. Besides, Tinubu had in 2011 been charged before the same Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over allegations that he illegally operated 10 foreign accounts during his term in office as Lagos state governor between 1999 and 2007 but was discharged based on a technicality.
“Danladi Umar, the chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal admitted on March 24, 2016, in the case of FRN vs Bukola Saraki that he discharged Tinubu in error. ‘On the discharge of the former Lagos state governor by the tribunal some years ago simply because the CCB failed to fulfill the condition precedent, we have since realised that we acted in error in discharging Mr Tinubu on that ground and we have since departed from that error,’ Umar said.
“It is therefore important for both the CCB and the EFCC to revisit the case since Tinubu was never acquitted.”
Bwala added that Tinubu does not enjoy immunity while calling on the EFCC, NDLEA, police, attorney-general and Department of State Services (DSS) to arrest and prosecute him.
The party also called for the immediate sacking of Festus Keyamo, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, by President Muhammadu Buhari on the ground that the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) is using his position as a minister to “intimidate” opposition candidates.
Referring to the suit filed against the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC), by Keyamo, last Friday, Bwala, said such a move from his cabinet, was not consistent with the President’s vow consistently to ensure a free and fair electoral process.
Keyamo, who had vowed to ensure that Atiku paid fully for his alleged crimes, also joined the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and the Conduct of Conduct Bureau (CCB), to compel them to prosecute Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the PDP over corruption allegations.
But Bwala, who insisted that the move smacked of impunity and intimidation, said: “Keyamo is using the official privilege and powers of that office to intimidate the agencies of the government including going to court and filing a case against the agents of the same branch of government to which he belongs.
“This is happening at a time when the President told the world that he is going to deliver a free and fair election. We call on the president to sack the Minister of State for Labour and Employment forthwith for using an official position funded by taxpayers’ money to interfere with the conduct of free, fair, and credible elections.
“We also call on the President to read the riots act to agents of the government from interfering with this election. Any effort to intimidate opposition is an effort to interfere with the conduct of peaceful elections.”
BREAKING: Our witness never accused Obi of rigging Anambra election – PDP
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Thursday pooh-poohed the report that Ndubusi Nwobu, one of its witnesses at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT), claimed that Peter Obi and the Labour Party (LP) rigged the 2023 presidential election in Anambra State, saying nothing could be farther from the truth, as no such claim was ever made.
The party which said at no time did it change its position that the LP won the election in the state, described the twist given to its evidence in court as an attempt to discredit the personality of Nwobu.
Uloka Chibuike, spokesman of the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Committee Anambra State, in a statement, warned Nigerians to be wary of the the antics of those who peddled fake news, adding that bloggers must also be careful about the type of stories they ran with, given the tendency of some people for mischief.
The statement, read: “The attention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Committee in Anambra State has been drawn to a publication in the public space where the purveyors of fake news alleged that Chief Ndubisi Nwobu claimed that Peter Obi rigged the presidential election in Anambra State at the ongoing Presidential Election Petition Court.
“This is not only falsehood, wickedness, and devilishness, but also a deliberate attempt by a few innuendos to discredit and blackmail Chief Nwobu’s person.
We wish to state unequivocally and for the record that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) did not file a petition against the Labour Party, nor did the PDP name the Labour Party as a respondent in her suits at the ongoing Presidential Election Petition Court; rather, our petitions are against the All Progressives Congress Party (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“Chief Ndubisi Nwobu was at the Tribunal on the 7th day of June, 2023, as the 11th witness of HE, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, GCON, and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to testify against INEC’s refusal to adhere to its own election guidelines, which state that polling unit results are to be electronically transmitted with the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) directly and in real-time to the IREV portal.
“Chief Ndubisi Nwobu did not, by any means or disguise, state that Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, ‘rigged’ the presidential election in Anambra State or anywhere else. The Tribunal went further to ask Chief Nwobu who won the election in Anambra State; he responded explicitly that the Labour Party won the presidential election in the state and that his party is not in court with the Labour Party but with INEC, having reneged on her own guidelines.
“While we call on unsuspecting members of the public to kindly disregard the fake news that Chief Ndubisi Nwobu accused Peter Obi of rigging the presidential elections in Anambra State, we also wish to warn online bloggers against patronising stories with sensational headlines without proper investigations, as expected by journalists and all news merchants.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Atiku Abubakar, GCON, its presidential candidate, are determined to present all evidence against INEC and the All Progressives Congress Party to convince the Presidential Election Petition Court that the mandate willingly given to Atiku Abubakar by the majority of Nigerians was wrongly appropriated and that such matters must be addressed to retrieve the mandate from the APC. Those wishing to divert attention, frame and defame innocent individuals should desist or face the consequences of their actions.”
INEC, Yakubu should be recognised for breaking world record with 2023 election – Okonkwo
Kenthe Okonkwo, spokesperson of the Labour Party (LP) and Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council (ODPCC), in the 2023 election has given a new title to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of the worst electoral body in the world.
Okonkwo a renowned actor and lawyer, currently in the legal team of Obi and the LP, at the Court of Appeal Abuja, presently sitting as the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT), hearing petitions against the declaration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as winner of the February 25 presidential election, came to the conclusion against the backdrop of the outcomes of the proceedings in court.
He was particularly scandalised that INEC is attempting deny documents it was said to have issued to Obi and LP, one of the three petitioners challenging Tinubu’s victory, even as he has since been inaugurated as the 16th President of Nigeria and already working in the capacity of Nigerian first citizen.
Using his known Twitter handle, Okonkwo, who regularly gives update on the proceedings in court, wrote: “We are back today again at the Presidential Election Petition Court (COA) for the continuation of our Petition. “I can confidently say that INEC, under Prof Yakubu Mahmood, has broken the Guinness world record as the worst electoral commission on planet earth. How can INEC stand up in court to say, “Mi Lord, I object to the tendering of INEC’S certified true copies of the election results.
“This institution is becoming an international embarrassment to Nigeria. I have never seen where an organisation, which by law ought to be neutral, is shamelessly objecting to its own documents, just to please some quarters. Well, God is in control and we put our trust in Him.”
Now that Labour has been defeated!
The little hope Nigerians had about any form of respite from the vice grip of a merciless cabal operating in the country as a government, has finally evaporated. Early in the evening of Monday, June 5, 2023, news filtered in that the strike action called by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the concomitant protests thereof to challenge the sudden hike in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, had been called off.
By later that night, the news was confirmed by Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief of Staff (CoS) to President Bola Tinubu, who went on to reveal, what he said was a set of agreements entered into by the NLC, which was joined by the Trade Union Congress (TUC), which was previously absent, but had to rush in later that evening.
In fact, there was a kind of uncanny drama that followed the entire sequence to Monday’s meeting. On Sunday, June 4, the TUC was at the same meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, with the NLC vehemently denouncing the parley. In fact at the time the Sunday meeting was going on, Joe Ajaero, NLC President, was on Arise Television, swearing before his host that the main workers’ union would not return to the table for talks with anybody on the subsidy matter until the old prices were reverted to.
Then, on Monday, it was the turn of the TUC to be absent. Nobody knew why. Festus Osifo, the President, had told reporters after the Sunday meeting as leader of his team that the union for the senior staff in the public service, had also handed down a set of demands to the government, among which was a reversion to the old price and to be followed by a proposal for increase in the wages of workers.
It would take some keen, discerning observer to see something strange in the behaviour of the labour leaders or at least suspect that much. But the meaning might not register quickly for the uninitiated or a non-follower of the activities of labour unions in the recent past. An smart follower, would have discover the pattern long before the drama got on the way proper.
What is more, a casual glance would expose labour more as an accomplice in the handing of Nigerians the short end of the stick, over the decades, since the end of the era of the genuine leaders actually fought with their full chest out for the welfare of workers and the ordinary man in the Nigerian street.
As much as 1993, during the June 12 struggle, Nigerians who had relied on the same labour to retrieve their mandate, which was handed to the late Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO), Abiola, suddenly discovered that they were clutching on mere straws when the NLC under the late Paschal Bafyau, dumped the agitation and practically went into bed with the military government at that time, including Sani Abacha, arguably the most despotic leader ever witnessed in Nigeria.
Since then, others after that era in upping the ante, established a certain pattern, which became emblematic of the Adams Oshiomhole era. It took a dimension in hoodwinking Nigerians to believe that the solidarity songs, the street protests and the sit-at-homes initiated were for them, when indeed, they were actually some well-choreographed activities to ride on their backs to feather their own nests.
Figure out the Oshimhole of those days and the one who now lives in a mansion said to be one of the wonders of Nigeria – built on a vast acreage of land with with artificial lake and swimming pool on the rooftop, to understand your true standing with those who have since taken over where he stopped.
It is even instructive that we’ve started hearing about strikes again in the period of Ajaero and Tinubu. During the eight-year period of President Muhammadu Buhari, when Ayuba Wabba, was in charge, the word seemed to have disappeared. That was why the government got away from blue murder with the way it related to Nigerians.
For all it is worth the said meeting said it agreed to establish a joint committee to review the proposal for “any wage increase or award and establish a framework and timeline for implementation,” and for the federal government, the TUC and the NLC to review the World Bank-financed cash transfer scheme and propose the inclusion of low-income earners in the programme.
It was also agreed that the federal government and organised labour would revive the Condensed Natural Gas (CNG) conversion programme earlier agreed with Labor centres in 2021 and work out detailed implementation and timing and to review issues hindering effective delivery in the education sector and propose solutions for implementation as well as look into and establish the framework for completion of the rehabilitation of the nation’s refineries, as well as for the federal government to provide a framework for the maintenance of roads and the expansion of rail networks across the country.
Now try and make sense out of it if you could. But even an imbecile knows that this is clearly an obvious joke. For all you know the same people who came out with the funny document they call agreement, would be on the issue of a new minimum wage for the next two years at the end of which they may come out with an addition of a paltry N10,000 extra to up it from the current N30,000.
They could not even push to reduce the PMS price by a kobo as the Oshiomholes used to do, when they would sneak in at night to fix the price with the government, come out in the morning to shout, then return in the afternoon to “negotiate” and in the evening, announce the actual figure they had already known all along.
No, even that drama that served as some kind of elixir and a balm to soothe the wounds of Nigerians, has also become a sort of luxury. What about the talk about local refineries? That demand too, which the NLC and TUC insisted as a sine qua non, and condition precedent for the removal of the so-called subsidy, has obviously died a natural death.
But wait for it. In the next few weeks when the appointments would start in earnest, check what the lucky ones would go home with. Of course by now, orders must have been placed for the latest makes of brand new vehicles that would roll out of factories in Japan or Europe – the real guzzlers of the nation’s resources.
Watch as each of the would-be ministers are escorted home with at least five of such vehicles, fuelled, of course at the expenses of the same government that has no money. Watch the sudden transformation that would come to them and their family members.
Watch as the other appointees and those close to the corridors of power spend money as if it is going out of fashion. Nobody would remember subsidy then. Nobody would tell you that government is broke.
That is when you realise that the Nigeria they envisage is not for you. If by now you have not realised what ‘state capture’ is all about, watch what would happen in the coming months and years. Nigeria is permanently cornered in such a way that citizens have nowhere to run.
You’ve seen how the judiciary has been used to stop the proposed strike even before it took off. Do you go to the street for protest? The same police and army, who have been complaining more than you about the hardship in the land, would all be too glad to shoot you, because that is the only means of letting off some pent-up anger or assuage the feeling of self-importance.
The media? Deadend as well. The last few days, would have shown that that road has been sealed as well, because either by default or deliberately, or for obvious reason, that road seems closed. The same media that are supposed to ask critical questions seem sold on the single story. If all you hear now even from such a critical sector that ought to be the last hope of the common man is that subsidy is a taboo, where else would you go?
So, in the end, it is what it is. Millions of Nigerians will suffer, millions more will die – of hunger, of disease, of suicide. Tragedy.
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