Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is ineligible to contest next year’s presidential election.
Hon. Debo Ologunagba, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP started this yesterday Sunday 13th November at a press briefing in Abuja. According to him, by the provision of Section 137 (1) (d) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Asiwaju Tinubu is not eligible to contest the presidential election in Nigeria.
Speaking further, he said Section 137 (1) (d) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides that:(1) A person shall not be qualified for election to the office of President if: (d) He is under a sentence of death imposed by any competent court of law or tribunal in Nigeria or a sentence of imprisonment or fine for any offence involving dishonesty or fraud (by whatever name called) or for any other offence, imposed on him by ANY COURT or tribunal or substituted by a competent authority for any other sentence imposed on him by such a court or tribunal.
“For clarity, forfeiture means “something to which the right is lost as for commission of a crime or misdeed, neglect of duty, or violation of a contract”
“It is instructive to note that trafficking in narcotics is an international crime to which all nations are obliged and mandated to apprehend, prosecute and enforce any judgment or court order imposed on an offender. Nigeria being a signatory to the international convention on trafficking in narcotics is obliged to enforce any order or judgement imposed on any offender by a competent court anywhere in the world.
“For emphasis, the US court “ordered that the funds for $460,000 in account 263226700 held by First Heritage Bank in the name of Bola Tinubu represent proceeds of narcotics trafficking or were involved in financial transactions in violation of 18 U.S.C. S1956 and 1957 and therefore these funds are forfeited to the United States pursuant to 21 U.S.C. S881(a)(6) and 18 U.S.C S981”.
“Having been sentenced and fined by way of criminal forfeiture of $460,000 drug money in a criminal suit filed pursuant to the United States Criminal Code, Asiwaju Tinubu cannot by virtue of Section 137 (1)(d) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) seek office as President of Nigeria”, Hon. Ologunagba emphasized.
Hon. Ologunagba also stated that the APC is behind the recent attacks on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) offices in Ogun and Osun States as well as attacks on its presidential campaign rallies in Kaduna and Borno states.
“The APC is busy scheming to create tension, induce violence, frustrate the conduct of the 2023 general elections and derail our democratic process, having realised that it does not have an eligible presidential candidate for the polls.
“Seeing that it is technically out of the presidential contest and further distraught because it cannot also field candidates at all levels in the 2023 general elections due to its illegal and unconstitutional congresses, the APC has resorted to unleashing hoodlums to attack PDP Presidential Campaign rallies and other innocent Nigerians going about their legitimate endeavours as witnessed in Kaduna and Borno states, in a bid to trigger crises and scuttle the elections.
However, in a swift response, the Director, Media and Publicity of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Mr Bayo Onanuga described Hon Ologunagba and PDP as “jokers”.
In a Facebook post, he said “the fragmented and emasculated PDP turned itself into an accuser, prosecutor and judge today, asking Asiwaju Tinubu to quit the presidential race.
“What a comedy!
“The PDP spokesman Debo Ologunagba quoted an ill-digested Section 137 of the 1999 Constitution and decreed that Asiwaju should step down. He claimed that by the provision, Tinubu is not eligible to contest the presidential election in Nigeria.
“His call followed the release of the 30-year-old US document its agents and media lapdogs have been spreading. Now, at least, we know that the party and their candidate are behind the shameful campaign of calumny.
“Mr Ologunagba, stop dreaming! Your party can go to court if it likes. But what we know is that Asiwaju is unstoppable, by the grace of God. He will contest the election, win it, retire Atiku to Dubai and finally stop him from perennially chasing the elusive presidential trophy”.