A human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, says some forces within the nation’s political landscape are preparing the grounds to launch a third term campaign ahead of the 2023 presidential race.
Falana, who was the guest speaker at the presentation of “Testimony to courage,” a book in honour of the Editor-in-Chief of Premium Times, Dapo Olorunyomi, said those behind the moves had activated the process by a deliberate attempt to oppress the media and whittle their influence and other perceived obstacles.
An online newspaper, The Pledge, quoted Falana as saying, “Let me say this, our country has gone to the dogs and the media must help, you have to help and that is why the war is against the media because, for the 2023 race, the media must be silenced, we may have a third term campaign very soon.
“Very soon they are going to destroy all possible opponents and they have started. So, by the time they bring the third term agenda, the media would have been gone, but we are not going to allow it.”
Adding his voice to the debate on the legality or otherwise of President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to sign the Amended Deep Offshore Act into law in the United Kingdom, Falana described it as absurd and illegal.
Citing an example of a Supreme Court ruling that upturned the impeachment of former Oyo State Governor, Rasheed Ladoja by the House of Assembly, Falana said, “I have said it publicly; no dictator can deceive the Nigerian people. No serious President apart from a banana republic would go to a private house in any country and sign a law.
“The bill has to be signed into law in the office of the President of a country. There is a precedent. Ladoja was impeached in a hotel in Ibadan and the Supreme Court made the point abundantly clear. Any proceedings of a House of Assembly that took place in a hotel are illegal because the place for making laws is the chambers of the House of Assembly.
“They tried to deceive us by saying that the bill was signed in the Nigeria House in the UK, no, it was signed in a private house, an undisclosed house in the United Kingdom where the photograph was taken,” he said.
He also cited the cold war brewing between the Niger Delta Development Commission and the office of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, noting that the Federal Government was inadvertently setting landmines for itself.