Tinubu's Trial: ACN, UK Accuses President Of Double standard
SAN FRANCISCO, SEPTEMBER 19, (THEWILL) - The United Kingdom (UK) chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has taken a swipe at the Federal Government of Nigeria over what it called “unwarranted witch-hunt” of the party’s leader, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
Tinubu is to appear before the nation’s Code of Conduct Tribunal over allegations of operating about eight foreign accounts when he was governor of Lagos State between 1999 and 2007, as against the law of the country which forbids such.
But reacting to the development in a statement jointly signed by the Acting Chairman, ACN, UK branch, Phillip Idaewor and its Secretary, Ibrahim Emokpaire, the party described the federal government move as an attempt to muzzle ACN, which is a major opposition to the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the country.
It wondered why government is reopening the case more than four years after Tinubu vacated office, while a lot of seating political office holders in the ruling PDP flout the same law mandating them to declare their assets within a period of three months in office.
“Part of the mandate of the Code of Conduct Tribunal is to ensure prompt declaration of assets of public officers: there are hundreds of public officers who have failed to declare their assets months after assuming public office, and yet the Tribunal is mute on these, but very quick to act on a retired public officer who left office over four years ago,” the statement noted. “Would this be a coincidence that Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu is a national leader of the official opposition, which is fast gaining ground and offering alternative to the PDP-led government? This is more like a case of calling a dog a bad name to facilitate its hanging.”
The party also described the current administration as being vindictive, branding it a colossal failure as its predecessor used the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), headed then by ACN presidential flag-bearer, Nuhu Ribadu, to witch-hunt oppositions. “All you needed to do between 1999 and 2007 to be in the bad book of the EFCC was to fall out with the erstwhile president, Olusegun Obasanjo.”
Describing Tinubu as a political role model whose governorship performance was not only excellent but also future-oriented having bequeathed power to another of his type, Babatunde Raji Fashola, the statement challenged the Code of Conduct Tribunal to publish the names of all serving political office holders with dates of asset declaration to lend justification to its current persecution of the former Lagos State governor.
“If the PDP and the president are truly serious about war against corruption in Nigeria, then they should set the tone by empowering true independence of all law enforcement and anti-corruption agencies. The Code of Conduct Tribunal should publish the names of all elected officers, including the president, stating the dates these officers declared their assets.
“In the 21st century, this capacity for record keeping is no longer rocket science. As the saying goes ‘he who comes into equity must come with clean hands.’ Can the PDP led government truly do this?” it queried.