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2015: APC Alleges Deteriorating Official Impunity against Opposition


News » Politics
Nigeria

July.17.2014

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused  the presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of adopting anti-democratic tactics, including lawlessness and misuse of the security forces to intimidate and run out the opposition ahead of the 2015 general election.

Similarly, the party lamented what it described as new weapon of flawed impeachment process being targeted at the APC state governors, warning that excessive political greed will always have its consequences.

The party alleged that huge funds ranging from $300,000 to N500 million were deployed as a bate to legislators to execute the plan for the impeachment of the governors of Adamawa and Nasarawa States.

APC urged all friends of Nigeria to prevail on President Goodluck Jonathan to apply the brakes on his obsessive quest for power, “because every action has consequences.”

While addressing journalists on the position taken by the party after an emergency meeting yesterday in Abuja, the National Chairman of APC, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, said President Jonathan was so obsessed with his re-election bid in 2015 at all cost that he is destroying not just all our key institutions but indeed the entire country.

“Events in Nigeria in the past few weeks point to a return to the dark old days of state dictatorship, lawlessness, impunity and repression. Our freedoms are being emasculated, our economy being run to the ground, and our only hope of bringing about change - our democratic expression is being smothered before our very eyes all because President Jonathan is so obsessed with re-election in 2015 at all cost that he is destroying not just all our key institutions but indeed the entire country, “ he said.

Speaking on the impeachment of the Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State by the state House of Assembly,  Oyegun said the process was fraught with irregularities and that the party would challenge the action in court.
He alleged that every impeachment or threat in recent times had the imprint of the president, adding that as he spoke yesterday, the military had taken over the Nasarawa State House of Assembly.

“As we speak, Nyako has been impeached at the instance of the president and his party, they have moved to Nasarawa State, their next stop, while Rivers, Edo and Borno, all APC states, are not being spared the destabilisation that precedes their new-found weapon.

“What was Nyako impeached for? Offences he allegedly committed five years ago. Those offences were not impeachable when he was in the PDP. But the moment he decamped to the APC, they became impeachable. The entire ‘impeachment’ of Nyako is so fraught with irregularities, bias, judicial contradictions and in violation of every procedural and constitutional provisions that it is the worst manifestation of impunity. We intend to mount an immediate and rigorous challenge to this gross injustice to the party and people of Adamawa State.

“What is Governor  Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa state being threatened with impeachment for? Allegations of extra-budgetary expenditure, the same offence that President Jonathan has committed many times. In fact, on only on July 10, the Senate passed a resolution asking President Jonathan to prepare and submit to the National Assembly supplementary budget to cover the over expenditure in the sum of N90.693 billion (US$585 billion) for petrol subsidy 2012 and the sum of N685.910 billion (US$4.430 billion) for kerosene subsidy expended without appropriation by the National Assembly in 2012 and 2013!

“Now, who is more guilty of gross misconduct than a president who is frittering away our commonwealth to induce perfidious legislators to impeach their state governors?  he queried.

While alleging bribery in aid of the impeachment in Adamawa State, Oyegun said: “Each member of the state assembly was allegedly given US$300,000 as part payment to impeach Nyako.”

He also said some N500 million had allegedly been moved to Nasarawa State to induce the state’s lawmakers to also impeach  Al-Makura while in  Edo, each lawmaker was being alleged to be offered N75 million to impeach Governor Adams Oshiomhole.

As part of the party’s accusations of impunity against President Jonathan, APC alleged that the president’s men are plotting five impeachments, in Adamawa, Nasarawa, Edo, Rivers and Borno between now and 2015.

Regarding the party’s  allegation that the president had abused the use of the security forces, Oyegun said the party was worried at the damage being done to every institution that sustains democracy.

Giving instances of what happened at the  Akure and Maidugiri  Airports, the APC chairman said the Akure airport was suddenly shut just to punish opposition leaders who had converged in Ekiti State for Governor Kayode Fayemi’s campaign rally.

In the case of Borno State, the national chairman said under the guise of ensuring security, the Maiduguri Airport was closed to air traffic but that  the reason for shutting the airport suddenly vanished as the private jet bearing former Governor Ali Modu Sheriff was allowed to land at the airport last  Monday, even as the state governor had to travel by road to Kano to see his brother who was involved in an accident on the same road.

“The army has been so compromised that it can no longer be trusted by anyone to be neutral. The army has been so abused that it now carries out police duties. Soldiers were deployed to guard the residence of the Chief Judge of Adamawa State while the impeachment proceedings were on. Soldiers were deployed to guard each member of the impeachment panel.

Soldiers were also deployed to guard the venue where the panel sat.
“In Ekiti State, soldiers were deployed to hunt down the opposition and prevent them from moving around freely, in contravention of the nation’s constitution. In Osun, soldiers are again to be deployed to shut down the state and go after the opposition.

“By using the military for election duties, President Jonathan is clearly disobeying a court order as the Court of Appeal had ruled as far back as 2005 that the involvement of the military in the conduct of elections is an aberration and therefore unconstitutional.

“Indeed in the words of Salami, JCA on page 176 in the case of Yusuf v Obasanjo (2005) 18 NWLR (Pt. 956 96@174-5), ‘it is up to the police to protect our nascent democracy and not the military, otherwise the democracy might be wittingly or unwittingly militarised. This is not what the citizenry bargained for after 1999. Conscious step or steps should be taken to civilianise the polity and thereby ensure survival and sustenance of democracy.”

Also, while speaking on the impeachment saga, APC stalwarts, former Governor of Kwara State Bukola Saraki Chief Audu Ogbeh and the Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajamila, cautioned against abuse of legislative powers by members of the state legislature.

According to Gbajamila, the constitution has very strict conditions for impeachment which must be adhered to, adding that by hiding under a bogus clause of gross misconduct to remove a sitting governor could threaten democracy in the country.

Both Ogbeh and Saraki urged Nigerians to rise up and reject any attempt to drag the country into a dictatorship, adding that the deployment of the military for elections should be discouraged.

In a swift reaction, the PDP has accused Oyegun of  engaging in  inflammatory attacks against the federal government over the impeachment of Nyako.

The party said the accusation was  wild and unfounded allegations aimed to cause confusion and incite the people against the president, the party and institutions of government.

A statement signed by  its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, said: “While we do not wish to join issues with a party that has become notorious for falsehood, deceit and blackmail, we wish to alert

Nigerians that this is part of the  orchestrated plot by the APC to discredit and blackmail institutions of government, particularly the legislature, the citadel of democracy and stronghold of the will of the people and ultimately set the stage to destabilise the polity.

“We note that this onslaught against the legislature is not spontaneous.
Nigerians may indeed recall the vicious attack on the National Assembly early this year wherein the APC also raised a false alarm that federal  lawmakers were being induced with millions of dollars to defect to the  PDP.
 
“We invite Nigerians to note the anti-democratic and anti-Nigeria actions  of the APC. Indeed, never in the history of this country has an opposition constituted itself into a rebellion against our dear nation. and its corporate existence. Never in the history of this country has  the opposition sought spiritedly to cause confusion to destabilise our  nation using wild allegations and lies; never has an opposition resorted to supporting insurgency and instigating violence through their utterances for political capital; never has an opposition taken it upon itself to continue to insult and attack the person and office of the president and government  institutions for parochial interests.
“We in the PDP believe in democracy and the principle of separation of powers as enshrined in our constitution. As such, we have never and will not for any reason whatsoever interfere in the activities of the legislature at any level.

“Our advice to the APC is that resorting to blackmail and unfounded allegations will not help them. They must understand that in a democracy, the will of the people and the rule of law are paramount.

Nobody is above the law or above the will of the people. Also they must note that the law does not exonerate an erring official simply because he is in the opposition,” Metuh said.

Article Credit: Thisdaylive

Updated 5 Years ago
 

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Tags:     APC     PDP     President Goodluck Jonathan     Chief John Odigie Oyegun     Murtala Nyako    

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