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Council of state pardon: Buhari should pardon all thieves in Prison – Femi Falana

Femi Falana SAN

Femi Falana has reacted to the council of states’ decision to grant a state pardon to Rev Jollly Nyame who was jailed for corruption after the expiration of his tenure as the Governor of Taraba state between 1999 and 2007.

Falana insisted that it is stated in the 1999 constitution that their equality for all citizens and so the state pardon have to be extended to all prisons who are serving terms for stealing.

Speaking about restructuring of the country, Falana said that the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should be referred to as decree 24 on 1999 as it was not duly signed.

He added that that the constitution should be seen as a decree which is fraudulent adding that it is a legal document, not a legitimate document.

“What the National Assembly has continued to do is to amend illegality.

“The so called 1999 constitution is really decree 24 of 1999. When you see the so called constitution, you will not the signature of the man who signed the law, thats the fraud.

“When you see a law, the name of the person who signed it should be there with the date.

“Decree 24 of 1999 was promulgated by General Abdulsalam Abubakar on the 5th of May 1999 but today you will not see his name on it. Its a fraudulent document.

“The decree was imposed on us the last set of military dictators in Nigeria headed by Gen. Abubakar and because that document is okay for members of the ruling class regardless of their political parties, ethic regional or religious inclination, they are all comfortable with the document so they can’t do anything about it including all those we are campaigning today to be President.

“It is to retain the status quo and perhaps adjust it here and there, that is the only thing they are saying, so those who are contesting particularly on the platform of the ruling party are saying we are going to continue the programme of the Buhari administration that has put our country in problem.

“Nigeria have become a huge joke in the committee of nations and so for any set of people to say they want to package his rickety vehicle and begin to panelbeat it, its not going to move.

“When they are talking of continuity, it can only be continuity of disaster, injustice and corruption.

“They are pardoning themselves now, the same man who said he came to fight corruption now grants pardon to a man who has stolen billions of Naira.

“My reaction is that all criminals, all thieves and criminals in our prisons should be released.

“Under section 17 of their constitution, it says there shall be equal right to all citizens and section 42 said there shall be no discrimination on the basis of class, gender, whatever, so you can not take out two people and leave the rest there.

“If the government doesn’t release others, I am going to suggest to lawyers whose clients are likely to be left in prison to go to court and challenge the discriminatory treatment melted out to their own clients.

“If you want to pardon your friends, you must also extend the presidential pardon to all thieves because if the big thieves are being asked to walk away, we must also extend it to others.

“If we are changing decrees to actions, the National Assembly have not shown any readiness to review the constitution with a view to restoring the Federal status of the country”.

He urged state government to set up lawyers to challenge the Federal Government over issues that affects the effective running of its activities which the Federal Government had taken over.

Yinka Odumakin was a Nigerian human rights activist and politician. Until his death in April 2021, he was the national publicity secretary of Afenifere, a Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group.