The Lagos State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded the arrest and retrial of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, over alleged false declaration of assets.
It accused President Muhammadu Buhari of manifesting selective fight and prosecution in his anti-corruption crusade.
The PDP’s fresh call on the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) for Tinubu’s retrial is reportedly informed by the assertion of the CCB’s lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) that the APC leader was erroneously discharged by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) during his trial for holding 10 foreign accounts, contrary to Section 7 of the CCB and Tribunal Act, Cap 15 LFN, 2004 as amended.
Jacob allegedly made the disclosure in his opposition to the application by Senate President Bukola Saraki that he
should be discharged in his ongoing trial over alleged false assets declaration.
He described Tinubu’s discharge as wrong, adding that the tribunal was misled into discharging the former governor.
Saraki’s lead counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN) had applied for Saraki’s discharge on the basis that he was also not invited before he was charged by the CCB, which is similar to Tinubu’s fact of case, wondering why the former Lagos State governor was discharged, whereas Saraki continues to be prosecuted even when the surrounding facts are similar.
In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Taofeek Gani, the Lagos PDP said: “We demand the immediate invitation, arrest and prosecution of Tinubu for violating the laws of the land and breaching public trust by operating several foreign accounts during his tenure as Lagos State governor between 1999 and 2007.
“During this period, the state did not witness meaningful developments commensurate to its internally generated revenues and Federal Government allocations. We strongly believe that those foreign accounts were used to siphon Lagos funds. It still amazes us how a Tinubu, well known before he became Lagos State governor, is now the undoubtedly wealthiest and most influential personality in politics in the country.
“The Code of Conduct Tribunal erroneously discharged him, but that does not remove the fact that the offence was committed. Now that the facts of Tinubu’s erroneous discharge are in the public glare and in the spirit of the hyped anti-corruption crusade, President Buhari ought to take a stance and speak out on the proprietary of Tinubu walking free, while Saraki, Dasuki, Kanu, are being prosecuted with vigour.”
It said rather than prosecute him, President Buhari and APC leaders “chose to adopt and celebrate a betrayer of public service’, adding that this was evident in the grounding of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, recently to celebrate Tinubu’s birthday, describing the act as an “unequivocal declaration of loyalty to Tinubu, who no doubt bankrolled the President’s election. No doubt that President Buhari is only mouthing anti-corruption and cannot summon the guts to prosecute APC leaders.”
The Party added: “The erroneous discharge of Tinubu must be appealed against. Alternatively, Tinubu should be invited, interrogated and prosecuted. He was discharged and not acquitted and there is no time limitation for criminal trial.”