Connect with us

News

SERAP Slams Buhari Over Moves To Pardon Dariye, Nyame

Published

on

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently review and withdraw the pardon granted to former governors of Plateau State, Senator Joshua Dariye; and Taraba State, Rev Jolly Nyame.
Upholding the pardon, the group argued, would ensure “impunity for corruption continue as long as influential politicians escape justice for their crimes.”
SERAP, in a letter dated April 16, 2022 and signed by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, and contained in a statement, yesterday, said “the constitutional power of prerogative of mercy ought not to be an instrument of impunity.”
The group also urged Buhari to “propose constitutional amendment to the National Assembly to reform the provisions on the exercise of the prerogative of mercy to make it more transparent, consistent and compatible with Nigeria’s international anti-corruption obligations.”
The National Council of State had on Thursday endorsed the pardon of Dariye, Nyame and 157 other convicts following the recommendation of the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy.
The 12-member committee, inaugurated by the Buhari in 2018, is headed by the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami. Dariye and Nyame were jailed for stealing N1.16billion and N1.6billion, respectively.
However, SERAP in the statement, yesterday, said the “pardon power ought to be exercised in a manner that is consistent with the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended), particularly the provisions on oath of office by public officers, and Section 15(5) which requires your government to abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power.”
The statement read in part, “Indeed, the presidential pardon power must be exercised in good faith, and in line with the provisions of Chapter 4 of the Nigerian Constitution on fundamental rights.
“We would like your government to clarify if the pardon granted to Mr Dariye and Mr Nyame would entitle them to the return of the stolen assets already forfeited to the government.
“The pardon also constitutes interference in the exercise of judicial power. Because the pardon appears to be arbitrary, it undermines the authority and independence of the Judiciary, and access to justice for victims of corruption.
“Presidential pardon for corruption cases is inconsistent with the rule of law, and the public interest, as it undermines the principle of equality before the law. It will undermine public confidence in your government’s fight against corruption, and the justice system.
“SERAP is concerned that while the pardon power is routinely exercised to shield influential politicians and politically exposed persons from justice and accountability, ordinary people who have committed petty offences but with no money or influential politicians to speak for them, languish in prisons and are rarely considered for pardon.
“Mr Dariye and Mr Nyame should have been allowed to complete their jail terms. The exercise of the presidential pardon in their cases would seem to be unfair and undeserving.
“The investigation and prosecution of the corruption cases involving the pardoned former governors Dariye and Nyame reportedly cost over N300million of taxpayers’ money. The cases went from the High Court to the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
“The pardon power, if properly exercised, can help to protect citizens against possible miscarriage of justice.
“SERAP, therefore, urges you to urgently withdraw the presidential pardon granted to Mr Dariye and Mr Nyame, and to propose amendment to Section 175 of the Nigerian Constitution that will make the exercise of the power to pardon more transparent and consistent and compatible with the country’s international obligations.
“Any proposed amendment should also empower the citizens to challenge the legality of any arbitrary exercise of the power of prerogative of mercy.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

News

2023: I’m Only PDP Presidential Aspirant To Defeat APC–Wike

Published

on

Rivers State Governor and leading presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Nyesom Wike,has said that he remained the only PDP aspirant that could win election against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Wike, in company of some PDP chieftains, made this remark when he met national delegates of the Lagos chapter of PDP in Ikeja, last Saturday.
The aspirant, who noted that he was not running to be vice president to anybody, said that if elected, peace, security of lives and property would be prioritised to strengthen the nation’s sustainable infrastructure, food security, prosperity and economic turnaround.
He said the nation needed a strong and courageous leader like him now, adding that with a courageous leader, difficult decisions would be taken to tackle the nation’s challenges.
“The issue now is who can win election for PDP. Who has the capacity to face the APC? Who will win election for PDP? That is me here.
“I will face APC squarely. If you give me this ticket on May 28 and May 29, go home and sleep with your two eyes closed,” Wike said.
The governor said that PDP must do everything possible not to lose the 2023 presidential election.
“If we lose the presidential election in 2023, we can as well forget PDP.
“I have been tested in terms of performance. Mine is ‘talk and do’,” he added.
Wike, who promised to replicate his outstanding performance in Rivers State across Nigeria, said that he would provide a leadership every Nigerian would be proud of, home and abroad.
The aspirant pleaded with the Lagos delegates and leaders to be united and work for his emergence at the primaries.
“I know APC very well, allow me to face them. I am begging you, delegates, allow me. Support me to take the power from APC and bring back to PDP.
“I depend on the South-West, if the South-West gives me the votes, I have won the election. Donate all your votes to me,” he said.”
The PDP chieftain lamented that some party leaders aspiring to contest for PDP presidential ticket now, were the ones that threw the former ruling party into being opposition when they left the party in 2015.
Wike, who noted that he had been with PDP since 1998, said: “I will never leave this party. Whatever I am today, by the grace of God, God used PDP for me”.
He, however, said that he would never leave PDP even if he did not win the primaries, pledging to support whoever won.
The governor, who appealed to the Lagos PDP to end all infighting and division, said that if the party was not united, it would not win in the state.
In his remark, former Governor of Gombe State, Dr Ibrahim Dankwambo, who led Wike’s delegation, described the presidential aspirant as a fearless and courageous leader, with strong capacity to drive Nigeria forward.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

News

Army Bombs B’Haram Commander’s Convoy, Kills Scores, Destroys Gun Trucks

Published

on

Troops of the Nigerian Army under the auspices of Operation Hadin Kai have bombed a convoy of a Commander of Boko Haram in Sambisa forest, Abubakar Sarki, killing scores of terrorists who were with him.
Sources said the offensive was coordinated by the General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Nigerian Army and Commander Sector 1 North East Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK), Maj-Gen Waidi Shaibu on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at Yuwe location, within the Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State.
The Army was said to have deployed a massive artillery gun after sighting eight moving convoys conveying Abubakar Sarki and unconfirmed numbers of fighters in devastating hits.
The source said that based on intelligence information, Abubakar Sarki and his team were heading toward Abu-Ubaida’s camp to engage its rival fighters from the Islamic State of the West African Province (ISWAP), in a battle of supremacy.
Counter Intelligence expert with knowledge of terrorists activities in Lake Chad, Zagazola Makama confirmed the artillery bombing of the BH Commander’s convoy.
“A ground assessment confirmed that three guntrucks with all its occupants were completely destroyed, while the remaining five vehicles, including Abubakar Sarki escaped” the source said.
The source added that the terrorists, however, aborted the mission and evacuated the dead and wounded fighters towards the axis between Pulka and Banki.
The sources said that the troops were mandated to go after the fleeing terrorists and eliminate them completely.
The infighting between the two terrorists groups had intensified with the ISWAP hunting Boko Haram during the day time while the Boko Haram are coordinating reprisal attacks at night because of their knowledge of the terrain.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

News

NDDC Fund, Account For Alleged N700b, Inaugurate Board, Monarch Tasks FG

Published

on

Barely three days after some ministers resigned, including Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, the Paramount Ruler of Idjerhe Kingdom of Delta State, King Obukowho Monday Whiskey, yesterday, called for urgent inauguration of the already screened and confirmed board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) just as he called on the Federal Government to the over N700billion he alleged has been allocated to investigate the commission in the last three years.
He said these steps by the government would help resuscitate the agency and rekindle hope of the people whose regional resources, he alleged, were criminally plundered by the leadership of Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
In a press statement personally issued by the monarch and made available to journalists in Benin City, Whiskey said, “Having voluntarily resigned as Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, our beloved son, Obong Godswill Obot Akpabio, should come out clean to explain to fellow Niger Deltans the whereabouts of the three years running budgetary allocations of the NDDC which inside sources claimed were more than N700billion.
“For presiding over the ongoing illegality in NDDC, Akpabio is not fit to be president.
“The Federal Government and Akpabio, who held the region perpetually captive and denied her of her developmental agenda because of an inglorious forensic audit that never brought out anything should now explain to our people of our collective regional wealth.
“The father of the nation, Mr. President must have seen now that those he entrusted with the developmental agenda of the oil and gas bearing communities of Nigeria had their own nefarious intentions to swindle and cause more havoc and deny the people their collective dreams of development.
“It is instructive to note, Mr. President, that three options are still available to the Federal Government of Nigeria. The first being the immediate inauguration of the screened and confirmed board of the NDDC under the Chairmanship of Dr. Pius Egberavwe Odubu, and Olorogun Bernard Okumagba as managing director. Secondly, immediate dissolution of the illegally constituted sole administrator that is alien to the NDDC Act 2000, and thirdly, every of the allocation to the NDDC from 2019 to 2022 except for those used for staff salaries and sundry expenses, every other monies of the over N700billion be recovered from whoever were part of the Macabre dance of shame in the past four years.”
The traditional ruler stressed that the inauguration of the already screened and confirmed board would rekindle hope and restore the Federal Government’s integrity before Nigerians and the international community.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Trending