• Thursday, May 30, 2024
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Babachir, Oke: PDP calls for Buhari’s impeachment

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called for the immediate impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari, even as it described the President’s sack of the former SGF, Babachir Lawal and DG NIA, Ayo Oke, as totally unacceptable.

Reacting to the sack of the two top government officials on Monday, the opposition party said the President’s action is an act of gross misconduct.

It wondered why the government did not refer the matter to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for prosecution, even when they were indicted by the Committee chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Shehu Sani-led ad-hoc committee.

In a statement by Dayo Adeyeye, National Publicity Secretary of the party on Monday, the party called on the National Assembly to begin impeachment proceedings against the President.

“These actions of Mr. President are therefore a breach of his oath of office which he swore to defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to be fair and just to all Nigerians without any discrimination whatsoever. The action of the President is a gross violation of his constitutional oath and therefore constitutes a veritable ground for impeachment. Using and applying different laws to different people in the country is a direct assault on the constitution and the rule of law. Consequently, we call on the National Assembly to begin processes to impeach the President for breach of the Constitution and flagrant disobedience to the laws of Nigeria.

“We totally reject these actions and the law should follow its full course on the issues of these officers. In other words, their case should be referred to the EFCC for proper investigation and trial, more so when the President has not told us what the report of the findings was. Nigerians are entitled to know the findings of the panel headed by the Vice President. The report should be made public since it is the people’s money that is involved,” the statement read.

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It also called for the arrest and investigation of the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau and the Attorney General of the Federation Abubakar Malami over their involvement in the return of the chairman, Presidential Task Team on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, into the civil service.

The party pointed out that Buhari’s action is an “insult on the-collective intelligence of our people who have waited patiently for the President’s reaction on the humongous act of corruption by two of his principal aides and this is totally unacceptable.

“The President has by his actions taken Nigeria to the level of a banana republic. We are not in a banana republic, this is the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Three successive governments of the PDP did not act in the manner President Buhari is acting.

“There is no doubt that the sudden sack of the SGF and the DG of NIA is just a consequence of the backlash on the Abdulrasheed Maina saga. Up till now there’s no answer to the pertinent questions we have asked on the Maina saga. The government cares less about the feelings and opinions of Nigerians. This kind of arrogance is unprecedented in the history of this county. We again call for the arrest and investigation of the two Ministers involved in the return of Maina into the Civil Service, that is, the Minister of Interior, Bello Dambazau and Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation”.

The party cited the case of Sambo Dasuki, the former National Security Adviser under the immediate past administration of PDP who has been in detention for over two years without being released by the government, despite court rulings.

This, the party insisted, is another impeachable offence.

“We believe that we are operating under a democracy and a Constitution that governs our affairs. To have subjected these people to different sets of rule and treatment is totally unacceptable. Nigerians are the same under the law and Babachir Lawal and Ayo Oke should not be tried by the Presidency while others are hounded by the EFCC and ICPC,” the statement added.

Recall that President Buhari had suspended Babachir and Oke on April 19, following allegations of corruption against the two government officials and set up a panel chaired by Osinbajo to probe the allegations.

The panel investigated allegations of violations of law and due process made against Lawal in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE), while it probed Oke on the discovery of huge cash by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in a residential apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, for which NIA laid claim.

The Vice President’s panel submitted its report on August 23 to the President.

 

OWEDE AGBAJILEKE, Abuja