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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

President Goodluck Jonathan Blast Critics On Presidential Pardon For Alamieyeseigha And Other VIP Ex-convicts

Yesterday we reported that there were indications that the National Council of State presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan will approve a presidential pardon for a former Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Dipreye Alamieyeisegha...see that post HERE. The pardon was eventually granted.
Confirming the Presidential pardon, President Jonathan said:
“That is an action that has been taken by the National Council of States and I have no apology for that.” 

“We must begin to respect and honour our institutions. I don’t need to defend the action that has been taken.”
“A man was deposed. He was hounded, tried and jail. What is wrong with giving pardon to a remorseful sinner?
“How come granting pardon to him has become an aberration? Is it because he is from Bayelsa? Is it from he is from South-South? Is it because he is connected to Mr. President?”
Alamieyeseigha, who Jonathan recently described as his political benefactor, was convicted of corruption and his removal from office by the state House of Assembly led to his arrest, prosecution and conviction.
Alamieyeseigha’s exit led to the emergence of Jonathan who was his deputy, as the Bayelsa State governor.

But some Nigerians are seeing this whole Presidential pardon differently.
National Publicity Secretary of the Congress Progressive Change, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin said, 
“His decision is as ludicrous and laughable as giving post humous pardon to Ishola Oyenusi, Lawrence Anini and Monday Osunbor; the notorious armed robbers that terrorized Nigerians in the 70’s and 80’s!

“There is a better way to show solidarity with one’s boss than this utterly reprehensible action.”
A social commentator, Kayode Ogundamisi, said, “If GEJ deems Dipreye Alamieyeseigha worthy of a presidential pardon, then why is James Ibori in a UK prison?
Lawyer and activist, Bamidele Aturu, said, “Presidential pardon for criminals is official jailbreak.”
Social entrepreneur, ‘Gbenga Sesan, said in his tweets, “A nation fighting corruption, and where the Commander-in-Chief has been accused of toying with such, shouldn’t pardon corrupt kinsmen. The timing of this use of (albeit) constitutional power makes it both insensitive and politically dangerous. (This) might heat up the polity.

Others, who were said to have been granted pardon at the meeting included Gen Oladipo Diya, who was the Chief of General Staff during the reign of military dictator, Gen Sani Abacha; former Managing Director of the Bank of the North, Mr. Shettima Bulama, who was also convicted of fraud; and former Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, the late Gen Musa Yar’Adua.

Also the former Minister of Works, the late Maj.-Gen Abdulkareem Adisa, who was also found culpable in the alleged coup that landed Diya in prison.

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