In a reaction to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) labeling of its Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, an ex-convict The Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, has blasted the ruling party, saying it was unfortunate and shameful that the ruling party that professed being blessed with intelligent people in its fold, finds it hard to tell the difference between a political prisoner and a criminal convict.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the country’s leading opposition bloc stated that “any attempt to label Chief Akande an ex-convict in a pejorative sense will be an exercise in futility, because he was neither convicted for abuse of office nor for any corruption-related offence by a duly constituted court.”
Mohammed explained that “the Special Military Tribunal that tried and sentenced hundreds of politicians, including Chief Akande, in the 1980s cannot be a reason to label all those it tried and convicted criminal ex-convicts, reminding the PDP that the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) ordered its members to boycott the proceeding of the tribunal simply because it failed to meet the standard of a properly-constituted court.”
”If those who were tried and convicted by military tribunals are indeed deemed to have been properly tried and found guilty of the offences for which they were charged, many of them would not have gone ahead to hold important elective and appointive positions in the polity… Outside Nigeria you have the global icon Nelson Mandela, who was tried, found guilty and jailed for life in 1964. Of course it will be laughable for anyone trying to denigrate Mandela to tag him an ex-convict, except of course that person is a member of the PDP!”