The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) dismisses as irresponsible the attempt by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its incoherent Presidential Candidate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to divert public attention from the issues affecting Nigerians, Tinubu’s atrocious record and the vexatious misrule of the APC by demanding that the PDP Presidential Candidate, His Excellency Atiku Abubakar should withdraw from the Presidential race on account of simulated allegations by the APC.
It is indeed ironic that an embattled Tinubu, who is beleaguered by uncountable cases of fraudulent activities, including perjury, forgery, treasury looting, corruption and narcotic-related conviction can attempt to impugn on the unimpeachable integrity of the PDP Presidential Candidate.
For clarity and for the interest of Nigerians, it is on record that Atiku Abubakar is one of the most investigated public officials in this country. It is also on record that in all the investigations undertaken over him and his affairs, Atiku Abubakar was never found culpable in any of the allegations.
In contrast however, the APC Presidential Candidate has litany of confirmed legal impediments on very grave issues including those that boarders on international crime, namely; trafficking in narcotic and taking proceeds of narcotic.
In the recent case revealed in the United States of America, it is on record that the APC Presidential Candidate forfeited the sum of $460,000 which was confirmed and found to be proceed of trafficking in narcotic; an international crime for which Nigeria, being a signatory to International Convention on trafficking in narcotic is obliged to enforce.
The effect of the conviction and forfeiture of the sum of $460,000 by Asiwaju Tinubu confirms that he is ineligible and not qualified to contest for the Office of the President of Nigeria as required by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
For clarity, Section 137 (1) (d) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (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”.
Having been convicted, sentenced and fined for narcotic trafficking 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.
The APC Presidential Candidate has not come out to deny the conviction and forfeiture or show evidence of any attempt by him to challenge or appeal the judgment, apparently believing that it will slide with time. Asiwaju Tinubu ought to know that time does not run against the State in a criminal matter!
He should therefore withdraw from the Presidential race having been found ineligible and not qualified to run or to contest for the Office of the President of Nigeria under the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution.
Hon. Debo Ologunagba
National Publicity Secretary