The Presidential Campaign Council for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has taken legal action against Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC), by filing a court case and requesting that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) disqualify him from running in the upcoming February 25th election.
The council claims that Tinubu forfeited $460,000 to the United States authorities, and they plan to file for an accelerated hearing in the case. The spokesperson for the Atiku/Okowa Campaign Organization, Kola Ologbondiyan, announced at a press conference in Abuja that the council is determined to pursue this case in the interest of the nation, as Nigerian law prohibits individuals convicted of international crimes such as drug trafficking from holding public office.
“For clarity, Section 137 (1) (d) of the 1999 Constitution (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.
“The import of the foregoing is that under the 1999 Constitution (as amended), having been so convicted and fined and having acceded to the sentencing by way of forfeiture of $460,000 and having not received any state pardon or acquitted by any court of competent jurisdiction, Asiwaju Tinubu remains a convict and the consequential effect is that he cannot contest election at any level in Nigeria.
“The effect is that the listing of the name of Bola Tinubu, who stands allegedly convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction on the ballot for the 2023 presidential election is by the virtue of Section 137 (1) (d) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) fundamentally illegal, invalid and must be expunged immediately.” he further noted.
Responding to the PDP press conference, spokesman of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, described the Atiku/Okowa Organisation as a body deficient in ideas and originality.
Keyamo said, “Why did they wait all these months until we filed before they are now rushing to court? I challenge them more than two months ago, yet they did nothing.
“It shows a team that is lacking in originality, lacking in ideas, and lacking in vision. It is just an attempt to create a counter suit to our own. Unfortunately for them, Nigerians have seen through them already.”