Pardon For Alams: Afenifere, Aturu, Keyamo Slam Jonathan

Former Governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha: Granted presidential pardon

The Pan Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, activist, Bamidele Aturu, Festus Keyamo, former Governor of Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa and others have slammed President Goodluck Jonathan over the move to grant ex-convict and former Governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha presidential pardon.

Jonathan was the Deputy Governor in Bayelsa when Alamieyeseigha was governor of the state and he profited from Alamieyeseigha’s fall to ascend to the governorship position.

Alamieyeseigha was convicted for acts of corruption perpetrated while in office and even jumped bail in the United Kingdom and escaped to Nigeria.

According to Afenifere, the move by Jonathan was the final confirmation that “we have an immoral leadership at the helm of affairs of the country.”

Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin said, “Nigeria is now seen as a crooked nation. In the last 14 years, people, corrupt people are being pardoned; it is a violation of our values and downgrading of our moral ethics.”

Activist, Aturu, in a statement said, “one cannot put such unthinkable gambit beyond this government or our elite, knowing their lack of interest in waging any war against corruption, serious or otherwise.

“Presidential pardon to those who were convicted, not of political offences but for dipping their dirty fingers in the common till, and pauperising hardworking Nigerians in the process is nothing but jail break by the state.”

“The government and its members will certainly live to regret the irresponsible decision. That is a promise. Civil society groups will do all in its power to show the whole world that those who claim to govern us are nothing but common crooks who deserve to be in jail.

“In my view, it is better to fling open the gates of all our prisons and ask all the inmates to walk out into the warm embrace of their relatives than pardon those who force otherwise decent Nigerians to take to crime as a way of life. A word is enough for the wise,” he stated.

In his reaction, human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), said; “For the  avoidance of doubt,  Dr. Doyin Okupe said it was the Council of State that pardoned the convicts and not the President.

While some of the persons involved in the exercise may be deserving of pardon it is pertinent to point out, without any fear of contradiction, that the Council of State lacks the power to grant pardon to any person convicted of a criminal offence in Nigeria. Being an advisory body the Council of State cannot usurp the powers of the President to exercise the prerogative of mercy on convicted persons.

“To that extent the decision of the Council of State to pardon certain members of the ruling class is an exercise in futility. It is illegal and unconstitutional. Our authority for this submission is anchored on Section 175 of the Constitution which provides as follows:

‘“The president may – grant any person concerned with or convicted of any offence created by an Act of the National Assembly a pardon, either free or subject to lawful conditions; grant to any person a respite, either for an indefinite or for a specified period, of the execution of any punishment imposed on that person for such an offence;

‘Substitute a less severe form of punishment for any punishment imposed on that person for such an offence; or  Remit the whole or any part of any punishment imposed on that person for such an offence or of any penalty or forfeiture otherwise due to the State on account of such an offence.

‘The powers of the President under subsection(1) of this section shall be exercised by him after consultation with the Council of State.

‘The President, acting in accordance with the advice of the Council of State may exercise his powers under subsection(1) of this section in relation to persons concerned with offences against the army, naval or air force law or convicted or sentenced by a court martial.’

“In view of the foregoing it is crystal clear that the power to pardon any criminal suspect or convict who has committed a federal offence is vested in the President. The power cannot be shared with the Council of State by the President. Therefore, President Goodluck Jonathan should be courageous enough to exercise his prerogative of mercy on persons deemed fit for amnesty after due consultation with the Council of State.”

Founder, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, Debo Adeniran said the pardon “is a way to confirm that the present government is not fighting corruption.

“All other people pardoned are hinged on Alamieyeseigha; Jonathan does not take corruption as a serious crime. Pardon should be restricted to political offences and not people convicted of corruption,’ he said.

Balarabe Musa lamented that with the current move, the president is not fighting corruption, saying that the anti-corruption crusade is all deception.

Reacting, Lagos lawyer, Festus Keyamo described the pardon granted Alamieyeseigha and ex-banker, Shettima Bulama, as highly unpatriotic and the “height of insensitivity of this government to the feelings of Nigerians about the war against corruption.

“It is shocking, confusing and disheartening that at a time when the general mood of the country indicates that the war against corruption is insincere, slow and a sham, the President deems it fit to even rubbish the very little work that has been done by the anti-corruption agencies in securing the conviction of these individuals.

“It is also disturbing that at a time when Nigeria is still ranking very low in the Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International, the president has further damaged the image of the country by this singular act.”

Keyamo said the pardon by the president teaches no bitter lesson to thieving and corrupt public officers but rather encourages corruption at the highest and the lowest levels of public office, adding that the decision to grant them pardon itself “is corruption par excellence. I condemn it.”

President of Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria, Shehu Sani, said though some of the listed Nigerians deserved pardon, extending the pardon to Mr. Alamieyeseigha and other public officers who were found to have corruptly enriched themselves while in office was unfortunate.

He said the president intentionally added other names to shade his decision to pardon the former Bayelsa State governor.

According to him, “there is an indication that granting pardon to Yar’Adua, Diya and others is a decoy to pardon Alamieyeseigha and other corrupt persons. There is a clear indication that including Diya and Yar’Adua is to give credibility to the pardon of godfathers and friends of the president.”

He said there was no reason why the National Council of State should grant pardon to those who were convicted under the military regime with those who enriched themselves in public office.

—Kazeem Ugbodaga, Eromosele Ebhomele & Yisa Jamiu

 

 

 

 

12 COMMENTS

  1. ASO rock ANNOUNCEENT : Free tickets for 2015 SENATE members – Ibrahim Shekau, Alams, Ibori, L Igbinedion, All ex governors, retired armed robbers, kidnap kingpins, Senior hired assasins, internationally renowned 419ners, pension and oil subsidy thieves etc. FOR HOUSE OF REPS – Tokyo, Senior BH and Ansaru members, Active armed robbers, kidnapers, assasins, Cult capons, Leaders of Nigeria CSW’s in Europe, Asia, Latin and South America, Wonder bank rogues etc.GOVERNOSHIP -Exsclusive list of all non perfoming former ministers, thugs that have stolen enough from the national assembly PRESIDENCY – Bode George, Governors and ministers of the first and secong republic, Political Imams and Rev Pastors, GEJ, Tafa etc. For this reason the 2013 budget is to be shared in cash to all the above mentioned stakeholders to enhance their preparation for the upcoming polls. Any disgrunted common man that is not satisfied with this arrangement should visit Esu river in Enugu or will be sent as a VIP to the newly commisioned Ibro Shekau 6 star hotel in Maiduguri. Therefore, because of the increased cost of governance, the minimum wage will be reviewed downwards to prevent thieving servants from growing pot belly. ******WHO WILL SAVE OUR LAND??. ”’MEANWHILE, HE THAT SITS IN HEAVEN AND DOES WHAT PLEASES HIM IS WATCHING. ”THE BIIIIG FOOL, WHERE WILL YOU RUN BECAUSE HE WILL SOON ARISE????

  2. Wetin bad for the pardon wey Jonathan give Alamieseha?
    Nigerians sabi criticize everything without basis.
    Government, remove him from being governor, sent this man to prison, collect his money and properties. So, what is too much in granting pardon.
    Because they haven’t jail Tinubu and co does not make dem saints.
    Shekena!

  3. why cry wolf over pardon 4 a man who fought 4 his right by nt suporting d third term bid of obj. A man who was set up by thesame obj 4 his suport 4 atiku then. A man dat was compel 2 admit crimes he didnt comit. Did u ever remember how atiku was also almost set up or evn set up? All u guys av mentiond so far shows u ar so tribal sentiment. 4 Godsake, alamiesegha is nt d only one on d list y d so much hatred 4 d south south? U calin gej moron am sure u ar one of thos bokites frm d north. Segun omolere, u ar jst sensles being. So childish! Hw many of d bokoharam members caught slaughtrin u pple av u adviced shld b xposd on d internet or web? I dnt blame u, u jst av a myopic brain, dats wat’s disturbin u!

  4. Paul, Awo was not convicted under democratic justice system so also OBJ was not giving fair hearing, all this action were taken under military dictatorship so get skull and brain to work correctly.

    Alam was impeached by state parliament so also convicted in the UK competent court of law

  5. i am tired of stories , nigeria should make a good decision from now till 2015 , on who their leader should be , these present government have nothing to offer these country,, jonathan please grant state padon to criminal who are in detention ,, example , armed robbers,,,, boko haran ,, kidnappers ,, ansaru, crimes is crime ,,,,,,,,,,,,time is comming aso rock will be hot for to stay , when nigeria revolt

    • Mr President has shown that he is not capable of curbing corruption in Nigeria again than to grant state pardon to people stealing the money of this country. All those reading this text should note that, Mr Alamiseya will asspair to contest for Senate seat come 2015 that was the reason why such pardone was extended to him. The question l want to ask Mr President is that, why dont you extend such pardone all the armed robbers in prisons across the nation? If Mr President had also wanted to do it better he should have called on Prisoner Chief Olabode George and Chief Tafa Balogun, also by the time Prisoner James lbori finished his jail term he will be welcome with fun-fair from the Nigeria Airport to his house and there after will be called to come and pick his state pardone. I am using this opportunity to call on Sahara reporter and all international newspaper to without further delay place the picture of Alamiseya on their web and dailies, so that all the international community should not allow him to step out of this country. Finally l want to advise all Judges in Nigeria Courts not to waste their time by sending cuprit to jail and also quash the case against Farouk Lawal, because they all deserve a state pardone. I rest my arguement.

  6. I am one of the president’s apologist,however, I must admit this move to pardon
    Alamieyesegha does not portray him in good light. Those ladies and gentlemen
    in his cabinet should bury the heads in shame for such a tactless move. He could have waited till completion of his tenure in office. For heavens sake, he is talking
    about seeking re-election. This was a dumb move to say the least; such ineptitude makes it inevitable for supporters to aptly look else where. Here you are with all the shenanigans surrounding your presidency, i.e, your petroleum minister, award of oil block, boko haram,extrajudicial killing, corpses surfacing from every nook and cranny of the nation, money disappearing from government coffers left and right. Yet, in the presence
    of all this calamities you manage to shoot yourself in the foot my friend.
    What’s the rush, the pervert is your kinsman, couldn’t you find a subtle way to explain to him that a pardon at this time or anytime as a matter of fact flies in
    the face operational etiquette and moral decorum. DUMB MOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. both of you are fools. Mr keyamo should devote his time more in making sure that more ex-governors or governors are convicted. i have not seen any corrupt individual(s) convicted through his argument. instead of commenting on everything like my brothers, he owe alot to this nation as regards to fighting of corruption

  8. Can someone tell me, are we practicing democracy or dictatorship, where one man will impose his unpopular opinion on so call council of state? We are all doomed. When it comes this institutionising corruption the president do not recourse to the rule of law but to fight corruption he follow the rule of law. What a country?

  9. Am not surprised at Jonathan’s action. He had shown enough evidence that he is not intelligent enough to rule an entity called Nigeria. If it takes the federal government this long to pardon Diya & co who committed political offences many years ago, why rush to pardon a man who committed a criminal offence just few years back. My advise to Alams is not to rejoice yet. this decision will definitely be reversed when his brother (and accomplice) leaves office very soon … may be sooner than we even expect sef!

  10. When you have a moron as head, then never be surprise at any decision he takes as a leader, this is where tribal politics has landed us, Nigeria and Nigerians case shall be a special one on the day of judgement… Too much of injustice

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