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APC Convention: Why Amaechi Must Be Disqualified From Presidential Primary– kayode Ajulo

APC Convention: Why Amaechi Must Be Disqualified From Presidential Primary– kayode Ajulo

Human rights lawyer, Kayode Ajulo, has written to the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to disqualify former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, from the party’s presidential primary, warning that he’s not eligible to contest for the 2023 presidential election.

In the letter seen by THE WHISTLER on Friday, Ajulo cited section 137 (1)(i) of the 1999 constitution, noting that it prohibits Amaechi from running for office owing to the allegation of N96 billion fraud against him.

Amaechi, who was governor of Rivers State from 2007 to 2015, had rebuffed a panel of inquiry set up by Nyesom Wike, his successor, refusing to appear before it to explain what the government said was illegal withdrawal of N96 billion from the state’s treasury during his tenure.

Despite refusing to appear, the panel concluded its sittings and released its findings which indicted Amaechi and some key persons in his government.

To challenge the legality of the panel, Amaechi instituted a lawsuit which dragged on until May 27, 2022, when the Supreme Court ruled that he was under obligation to appear before it and that it was legal to be investigated even though the panel was not a legal entity.

The supreme court dismissed Amaechi’s appeal and ordered him to pay N1 million to the respondents.

Arising from the development, in the letter to the APC, Ajulo argued that , “It is a well-known fact that Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi is one of the presidential aspirants of the APC and as such, the indictment and the subsequent White Paper which recommended prosecution as well as the judgement of the supreme court touches on core objectives of the APC party to produce the next president for our great country Nigeria,” Ajulo said

Citing Section 137 (1)(i) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended):, Ajulo wrote that, Anyone that ‘has been indicted for embezzlement or fraud by a Judicial Commission of Inquiry or an Administrative Panel of Inquiry or a Tribunal set up under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act, or a Tribunals of Inquiry Law or any other law by Federal or State Government which indictment has been accepted by the Federal or State Government respectively’…… stands disqualified to be sworn in as president of the federal republic of Nigeria.”

“Therefore, though Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has not yet been tried by a law court in respect of the accused fraud and embezzlement, the provision of Section 137 (1) (i) of the 1999 Constitution has already disqualified him.”

Not to be at the wrong end of the law, he posited that, “The APC party will be taking the risk of handing over power to the next candidate with the highest votes if they put Hon. Rotimi Amaechi forward as their flag bearer and he wins

“Likewise, the option of also handing him over as the vice president will not fly as the APC Party will suffer the menace of the same ill fate that befell the APC governor-elect of Bayelsa state in 2020, Hon. David Lyon who was disqualified by the supreme court on the basis that his deputy Hon. Biobarakuma Degi –Eremienyo presented false information to INEC to aid his qualifications for the state’s governorship election, this is a clear reinforcement that the ticket is a joint ticket and the disqualification of one member of the ticket disqualifies the joint ticket; a fate far too costly for the APC party to bear at the national level.

“Committing to mind that the presidential race for the election year 2023 has been picked up by all and sundry, other political opponents will very much ecstatic to see APC commit this grave error.

“It is apposite that the APC party takes all necessary steps to ensure that due diligence is carried out on all the party’s presidential candidates. The future of our great nation Nigeria is in our hands to mould, mend and take to greater heights and it will be most regretful if this opportunity is lost on issues that are avoidable.”

The APC holds its presidential primary election next week ahead of the 2023 elections.

Source: The Whistler.

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