Indications emerged on Sunday that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will take legal action to have the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) prevail to take the necessary steps to prevent the presidential candidate of the Progressive Congress (APC) , Bola Tinubu, to run for the 2023 presidential election.
Debo Ologunagba, National Publicity Secretary (NPS) of the PDP, speaking to reporters at the party secretariat, Wadata Plaza on Sunday, said the party would challenge Tinubu’s eligibility to run in the 2023 presidential election, on the basis of the judgment of the American District. Court in the Northern District of Illinois which resulted in the forfeiture by Tinubu of the sum of $460,000 from one of the accounts linked to him.
This comes despite clarification from Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council Chief Spokesperson, Festus Keyamo, that the former Governor of Lagos State was “roped in the drug trafficking case involving two Nigerians who once lived in separate apartments in the same building where the ex-governor once stayed in the United States.
Keyamo had, while defending the controversial document recently released by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, said that “Tinubu took responsibility for all 10 accounts because they were also traced back to his mother and her “parents”.
The case had ended in a settlement which resulted in Tinubu losing the sum of $460,000 in one of the accounts linked to him.
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“He, Asiwaju, went to open an account, the address by which he opened the account was already used by these people… investigated for narcotics,” he said.
But the PDP however called on the INEC and other relevant agencies “not to succumb to the blackmail of the APC but to concentrate and carry out their duties in accordance with the Constitution and the electoral law in order to arouse the trust of citizens in respect”. to the integrity of those who seek public office in our country.
When reminded that the INEC is unable to stop the APC candidate from running for office without proper declarations of justice in Nigeria, the PDP image maker said: “All options are considered. When we went to court to seek redress from Osun, we didn’t tell anyone and this one won’t be any different either”
He said that “APC must note that its plans, denials, threats and use of violence cannot help Asiwaju Tinubu. Under Section 137 (1) (d) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Asiwaju Tinubu is ineligible to stand for President in Nigeria.
“Section 137 (1) (d) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides that: (1) A person shall not be eligible for the office of President if: (d) He is under ‘a sentence of death by any court or tribunal of competent jurisdiction in Nigeria or imprisonment or fine for any offense involving dishonesty or fraud (however named) or for any other offence, imposed upon him by ANY COURT or tribunal or substituted by any competent authority for any other sentence pronounced against it by such court or tribunal.
“For clarity, confiscation means ‘something the right of which is forfeited on commission of a crime or wrongdoing, breach of duty, or breach of contract’
“It is instructive to note that drug trafficking is an international crime for which all nations are obligated and mandated to apprehend, prosecute and enforce any judgment or court order imposed on the offender. Nigeria, being a signatory to the International Convention on Drug Trafficking, is bound to enforce any order or judgment imposed on any offender by a court of competent jurisdiction ANYWHERE in the world.
“To emphasize, the US court” ordered that the funds in the amount of $460,000 in account 263226700 held by First Heritage Bank on behalf of Bola Tinubu represent the proceeds of drug trafficking or were involved in financial transactions in violation of 18 USC S1956 and 1957 and therefore such funds are forfeited to the United States pursuant to 21 USC S881(a)(6) and 18 USC S981”.
“Having been convicted and fined by criminal forfeiture of $460,000 of drug money in a criminal action brought under the United States Penal Code, Asiwaju Tinubu cannot, under of Section 137 (1) (d) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) is seeking the office of President of Nigeria.
“Nigerians now know that the announcement by the APC presidential campaign that its presidential candidate will not participate in media debates is aimed at preventing Nigerians from demanding answers from Asiwaju Tinubu regarding the confiscation judgment. criminal justice as well as other burning issues that Nigerians have a right to know.
Ologunagba further said that Nigeria “cannot afford the embarrassment, shame, national indignity and stigma associated with narcotics everywhere, especially in the high office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. .
“Nigeria cannot handle the massive negative collateral damage this will have on our national image, our economy as well as the businesses and legitimate endeavors of hardworking Nigerians.
“What Nigerians want from Asiwaju Tinubu at this time is for him to step down from the presidential race and apologize to the nation. The APC must accept that they are not in the race presidential election and that it does not have a legitimate candidate at all levels in the 2023 general election, as ruled by the Federal High Court.
The PDP therefore reminded Nigerians that any vote for the APC in the Presidential, Governors, National Assembly and State elections is a wasted vote that will not count in the end.
The PDP spokesperson added that despite the relentless attacks by the All Progressives Congress (APC), as evidenced by its presidential campaign rallies in Kaduna and Borno states, the Party has not been deterred in its attempt to save our nation from the stifling mismanagement of the APC.
“However, as we prepare for the 2023 general election, the APC is busy plotting to create tension, induce violence, thwart the conduct of the 2023 general election and derail our democratic process, having realized that it does not have a presidential candidate eligible for the polls.
“It is no longer news that the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is irretrievably and hopelessly ineligible to contest the presidential election of February 2023 after being charged and subject to a criminal forfeiture judgment for an offense related to narcotics by a United States court in northern Illinois.
“Nigerians are, however, appalled at the lame attempt by the APC presidential campaign which, after admitting that there was a criminal forfeiture judgment of $460,000 drug money against accounts linked to the presidential candidate of the APC, is now desperately trying to pull a wool over the eyes of the Nigerian people and our democratic institutions.
“Seeing this, he is technically out of the presidential race and even more distraught because he cannot also field candidates at all levels in the 2023 general election due to his illegal and unconstitutional congresses, the APC had use of thugs to attack presidential campaign rallies of the PDP and other innocent Nigerians who pursue their legitimate efforts as witnessed in Kaduna and Borno States in an effort to ignite a crisis and frustrate the elections.
“There are already apprehensions in the public space of undisputed allegations that the APC is behind the orchestrated attacks on the offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ogun and Osun States.
“The APC’s plan is to instill fear in all citizens, to disrupt and weaken other political parties, to frighten, paralyze and prevent INEC from organizing general elections. of 2023.