The Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council, Monday, has gone to court to disqualify Asiwaju Bola Tinubu from the 2023 presidential election upon the claim that he allegedly forfeited $460,000 to the United States authorities over a drug case.
The PDP council revealed the move at a press conference addressed by the spokesman of the campaign, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja.
The action was immediately rebuffed by the APC which through its spokesman, Festus Keyamo described the action as lacking in originality in their thinking.
However, Ologbondiyan in justifying the court move said that the laws of Nigeria do not allow an ex-convict or anyone sentenced or fined on account of a fraud or dishonesty from contesting for public office.
GWG.ng reports that the PDP had earlier on Sunday demanded that the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA should arrest and prosecute Tinubu over alleged drug trafficking.
Speaking at the press conference on Monday, Ologbondiyan said the PDP Campaign was asking the court to disqualify Tinubu upon his alleged record.
He said: “Declare Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the APC, having been allegedly convicted, as ineligible to contest the presidential election by virtue of section 137 (1) (d) of the 1999 Constitution.
“Compel the Independent National Electoral Commission, to immediately delist Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as presidential candidate of the APC or any other political party for that matter and expunge his name from all materials and documents related to the 2023 presidential election.
“You will further recall that the PDP had already established that the presidential candidate of the APC, having been allegedly convicted and having acceded to be guilty as charged by way of forfeiture of the $460,000; Nigeria being a signatory to International Convention is mandatorily obligated to execute the consequential effect of that conviction by virtue of Section 137 (1) (d) of the 1999 Constitution.
“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.
In his response to the PDP move to have the courts disqualify Tinubu, Keyamo, described the move as lacking originality.
“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.”