PDP defectors: Obanikoro, Chime, others must be prosecuted, jailed if…Falana, Aborishade


…Fani-Kayode laments Obanikoro’s defection

By Ayo Fadimu

The Federal Government has been advised to prosecute and jail any defectors of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) found to have looted the treasury as public officials.

In an exclusive interview with Nigerian NewsDirect, the fiery Lagos lawyer, Femi Falana said defecting to APC should not confer immunity on anyone found to have looted the treasury.

“Once the court has established prima-facie against anyone, such person must have his day in the court,” Falana said.

Recently, former Minister of state for defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro defected to APC. He joined the long list of former PDP office holders including former Plateau state governor, Senator Joshua Dariye, former Enugu State governor, Sullivan Chime, former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, former Oyo State governor, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala and several others.

All the former politicians have corruption cases against them by the anti-graft agencies but there is fear that many of them are defecting to the ruling party so that they can be shielded from prosecution and harassment of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

However, Falana said he knows that President Muhammadu Buhari won’t condone such as it will rub mud on his anti-corruption campaign and make it look like anti-PDP campaign.

On his part, Aborishade said the government must see that cases against the alleged looters should be pursued to a logical conclusion.

“No one must be freed because he defects or decides to stay put in any political party, anybody found culpable must be prosecuted and jailed” Aborishade said.

However, he also advised the Federal Government to beam its searchlight on the present public and civil servants who engage in what he described as “legitimized corruption”

Aborishade, a lawyer and activist said budget padding is not possible without legislative and executive collusion. He made reference to a report about the 2017 proposed budget which described some inputs as frivolous items composed of cars, over bloated sitting allowances and all sorts of ridiculous items.

However, the spokesman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation for the 2015 elections, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, has faulted the decision of Obanikoro to join the APC.

 Obanikoro was appointed Minister by the Peoples Democratic Party regime of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

 However, reports have it that Obanikoro had concluded arrangements to join the APC.

 The move started about two months ago with the visit of Obanikoro to National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, with whom he fell out several years back.

Both disagreed over the governorship ticket of the defunct Alliance for Democracy, which later transformed to the Action Congress of Nigeria and then became part of the parties that formed the APC.

However, Fani-Kayode is of the opinion that Obanikoro had behaved less than the man of conviction he should be with his decision to join the APC.

He said in a statement on Sunday: “My Brother Musiliu Obanikoro’s decision to join the APC irks and saddens me. I say this because I have always loved him and I care.

“You cannot fight evil by joining it. You cannot bring light by entering the darkness. You cannot find joy by partaking in the bread of sorrows.

You cannot run away in the heat of battle. You must have the courage of your convictions. Where is your honour? Where is your strength? Where is your dignity? Where is your self-respect? Where is your sense of self-worth?

“You and I are royalty. We are princes and kings and children of the Living God. We were taught and brought up to fight to the end and never to bow to the enemy.

“We were taught never to flinch before oppression. We were taught never to give in to our worst fears and to those who hate us and who despise our people. We were taught never to crawl on the floor and be slaves to our fellow men.

“Always remember that rebellion against a tyrant is an act of obedience to God. They may have today but tomorrow belongs to us.

“Finally take note of this: if you are not ready to die for something then you are not worthy of living for anything.

“I would rather die a free man than live a slave. And as long as I live the Yoruba, nay the south, shall offer some form of resistance to our collective oppressors and as surely as God lives we shall never be slaves.”