The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Sunday rebuked the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, for condemning the Buhari government and the Department of State Services (DSS) over last Friday’s court invasion.
Recall that DSS operatives on Friday re-arrested Omoyele Sowore, convener of RevolutionNow campaign, an incident that has generated criticism from many Nigerians.
Meanwhile, in a statement on Sunday night, Lanre Issa-Onilu, APC National Publicity Secretary, said Atiku and the PDP chose to present and spread concocted alternative facts and lies on the incident.
It said the presidency has clarified that the DSS does not necessarily need the president’s permission in all cases to carry out its essential and constitutional responsibilities.
“Whether Sowore flouted any of his bail conditions or staged the incident in court is another matter which the court and the prosecuting agency should address”, APC stated.
“Atiku, in his horrid statement particularly, accused the DSS of attacking the presiding judge among other lies being chorused by the PDP and their hirelings. Documentary evidence such as videos and pictures have shown that the tales are a complete ruse until anyone is able to present contrary evidence.
“If Atiku’s intervention was sincere, having realized the truth, he has not deemed it proper to apologise to Nigerians for misinforming them on the incident. Instead, he hangs shamelessly on his lies. A commentator has correctly described Atiku as “the king of the bandwagon”.
“The PDP and Atiku, in their dubious attempt at painting the APC government bad by all means, have chosen to exercise no restraint whatsoever in spreading falsehood. We would continue to reiterate the need for Nigerians to be wary of these people who are bent on bringing our country down.
“The APC, therefore, unequivocally rejects the inciting messages and criminal antics of some individuals and partisans who have embarked on a campaign of calumny against this administration and are calling for a forceful takeover of government. They are cowards and enemies of Nigeria.
“We call on Nigerians to look at the issue of Sowore’s arrest and subsequent trial dispassionately and devoid of the skewed narratives and sentiments being propagated by the likes of Atiku and PDP.
“Sowore contested and woefully lost the 2019 presidential election, garnering a meagre 33,953 votes compared to the winner, President Muhammadu Buhari, who polled over 15 million votes. He left the country afterwards and held talks, with pictures to prove, with another wanted secessionist. He returned to the country and openly threatened to lead a violent revolution against a democratically elected government.
“Our laws are clear on treason and Nigerians would expect decisive actions from our law enforcement agencies and government. Any attempt to truncate our democracy and threaten our collective peace and safety must and will be resisted using the full weight and instrumentalities of the law.”
Buhari Condemns Boko Haram’s Attack On UN Helicopter In Northeast
President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned what he called “the dastardly attack on UN aid helicopter in the Northeast on Saturday by the Boko Haram terrorists.”
In a reaction to the reports of the incident, President Buhari said:
“This latest cowardly attack on the UN humanitarian helicopter is yet another desperate rear guard action by the Boko Haram terrorists who have been under intense pressure from the Nigerian military.”
“Let me reassure the international community and Nigerians that this latest cowardly attack on a UN helicopter which claimed the lives of two people, including a five year old baby, would not go without severe consequences.”
“Boko Haram terrorists are clearly on the back foot and their increasing attacks on innocent civilians, including UN humanitarian workers, was part of their desperation to prove that they are strong in order to cover up their dwindling fortunes.”
President Buhari said “the security of foreigners and Nigerians remain the top priority of this administration, and we shall leave no stone unturned until we eliminate these remorseless enemies of humanity.”
The President also underscored the need for all humanitarian and other aid workers in the region to, at all times, properly coordinate movements — air or land, with the Theatre Commander and other military authorities.
Buhari Not Interested In Fighting Insurgency — Galadima
Former spokesperson for the presidential council of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari has no genuine interest in fighting insurgency and other security challenges facing the country. He said this is the main reason why he has refused to change the military service chiefs.
The elder statesman who made his feelings known during an interview with Daily Independent said it was a thing of worry that President Buhari refuses to replace the military service chiefs as they have obviously failed in their duties to the country.
Galadima went ahead to allege that the only reason he could deduce for President Buhari’s stubbornness on the issue is the fact that his personal Marabouts (spiritual guide) must have advised him against it despite the outcry of prominent Nigerians.
According to Galadima;
“I have spoken a lot on this matter in the last one year. I don’t think the President has genuine interest in fighting any insurgency. He is like a deaf and dumb”.
A lot of Nigerians have told him the proper thing to do but he doesn’t listen to advice. Whatever you tell him, he doesn’t accept. If not, any serious person who has the welfare and security of his people at heart, would have fired the entire Service Chiefs three, four years ago and bring another people who are capable of doing the job”.
But he will not do it because he must have been instructed by his Marabouts that he shouldn’t remove them for whatever reason. That is the only reason I can give for his not replacing them”.
So, we are just wasting our time by asking him to do so. The man is insensitive to people’s feelings, opinions and the advice well-meaning Nigerians are giving him”.
Bill To Strip The President Of Powers To Order For Forfeiture Of Assets Of Accused Persons, Scales Second Reading
A bill seeking to strip the president of the powers to order for forfeiture of assets of accused persons has scaled second reading in the House of Representatives.
The discretionary power previously granted to the president to order for forfeiture of assets was on Thursday, July 2, transferred to the judges of a High Court.
The bill, which was passed in plenary, yesterday, July 2, is sponsored by the Deputy Speaker, Mr Ahmed Wase and is entitled “a bill for an act to amend the currency conversion (freezing orders) act cap. C.43, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to give discretionary powers to the judge of a High Court, to order forfeiture of assets of affected persons and for related matters.”
Presenting the bill, the deputy speaker said, “It is noteworthy that the provision for forfeiture in our laws is geared towards ensuring that persons found guilty of offenses do not benefit from the proceeds of those offences.”
He said the discretionary power previously granted to the president by the Principal Act is hereby being replaced by that of a High Court Judge to bring it in line with the spirit of the constitution.
Wase argued that the provision, which vest in the president the power to order forfeiture of property (both movable or immovable) “is not in spirit with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and hence the need for its amendment.
“Section 44 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) guarantees the fundamental right of individuals to movable and immovable properties, which shall not be deprived except in specified circumstances which include the ‘imposition of penalties or forfeiture for the breach of any law whether under any civil process or after conviction for an offence’. (S. 44 (2) (c).
“Mr Speaker, colleagues, it is our submission that such breach, can only be determined by the judge of a court and should never be at the discretion of the president.
“It is further noted that the discretion of the president to order the forfeiture of property of an accused person can be subjected to executive abuses and recklessness. Section 9 in the Principal Act does not provide any mechanism (whether legal or administrative) through which the President may exercise this power. Instead the power is left solely at the discretion of the President.
“In a country that has witnessed reckless abuse of political and administrative powers, it will be dangerous to allow such unchecked arrogation of powers to determine the forfeiture of a person’s properties.”
“Such discretion to be exercised by the president can be contrary to the natural doctrine of fair trial as it amounts to the executive being a prosecutor and a ‘Judge’ in its own case.
“This negates the spirit of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) specifies the conditions under which a person can be deprived of movable or immovable properties and that is: ‘under any civil or after conviction for an offence’ after a fair trial.
“The president cannot therefore, usurp the powers of the courts for such will run foul of the doctrine of Separation of Powers.
“Vesting in the president the power to make forfeiture order smack of the era of military dictatorship where the Head of State and Head of the Supreme Military Council and unilaterally order the forfeiture of properties of persons without recourse to any judicial mechanism. This cannot be allowed to exit in a democracy. I therefore urge you all to support this amendment bill.”
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