Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group:- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has condemned the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for displaying tendencies of a secret cult fraternity or a cartel by pegging at N100 million the fees to buy presidential nomination form for 2023 poll.
HURIWA said any citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in good standing with the laws should arrest those persons buying these forms at N100 million each set per person.
HURIWA said it is inconceivable that a citizen of Nigeria who made his money through legitimate means can afford to fritter away the princely sum of N100 million just because he/she wants to put himself out to become the servant of the people of Nigeria.
HURIWA argues that only political rogues, drug peddling gangsters or persons involved in armed robbery or kidnappings for ransom can afford to gamble away such a lifelong fortune.
HURIWA recalled that a citizen’s arrest just as submitted by scholars of law and legal jurisprudence is an arrest made by a private citizen – that is, a person who is not acting as a sworn law-enforcement official. In common law jurisdictions, the practice dates back to medieval England and the English common law, in which sheriffs encouraged ordinary citizens to help apprehend lawbreakers.
The Rights group said the Police Act of Nigeria also authorised citizen’s arrest.
HURIWA said further of citizen’s arrest citing published materials by legal pundits, that despite the practice’s name, in most countries, the arresting person is usually designated as a person with arrest powers, who need not be a citizen of the country in which they are acting. For example, in the British jurisdiction of England and Wales, the power comes from section 24A 2) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, called “any person arrest”. This legislation states that “any person” has these powers, and does not state that they need to be a British citizen.
The Right group said anyone who buys the nomination form at such a scandalous high amount of cash, should first be arrested by the citizens if possible under the law permitting citizen’s arrest so such a person is handed over to law enforcement agencies such as EFCC or ICPC or Police for investigation on the source of the money.
HURIWA has also warned that the irrational and criminally minded rationale for scaling up the cost of Presidential form to such a humongous amount as announced by the APC, will inevitably affect the value of the Naira given that economic saboteurs who had siphoned public funds and warehoused the stolen money in the dollar-denominated currency will now bring them out to search for N100 million equivalence of the stolen dollars from public coffers to buy presidential nomination from thereby limiting the Naira in circulation for legitimate businesses.
The Rights group also expressed consternation that banks may actually give out depositors’ money to these power-hungry filthy politicians to gamble away in buying the nomination form at the All Progressives Congress’s Secretariat since seeking to serve Nigerians in the thinking of these misguided party leaders has become a MONEY GUZZLING VENTURE OR A PONZI SCHEME.
“We were only just finished carpeting opposition Peoples Democratic Party for bastardizing the process of nominating its presidential candidate by inflating the cost of the nomination form to a princely sum of N40 million, little did we know that the politicians who run the Federal Government and have ruined the national economy will peg theirs at the extravagant cost of N100 million just to spite the opposition politicians and to make fun at Nigerians as captives who as hostages of politicians can’t do nothing to checkmate this rascality of the political forces.
“This same APC government is unable to meet the funding obligations for federal universities and thereby has left millions of students of public schools to roam around in their homes due to industrial strike by university teachers (ASUU) for over two months, yet the politicians have hidden enough stolen cash to buy presidential from at N100 million each.
“It is a shame that those who seek to govern Nigeria are made to cough out so much money to purchase forms just to signpost their original intention as persons whose only objective would be to first recoup their huge investments and to further impoverish the citizenry”.
“We urge Nigerians to initiate citizen’s arrest of anyone who buys the APC Presidential form at the rate of N100 million so the relevant law enforcement agencies are handed over these suspects to explain their source of such huge funds.”
HURIWA recalled that the party’s forms for Presidential ticket at N100 million, governorship aspirants cost N50 million; Senate, N20 million; House of Representatives, N10 million and State Houses of Assembly, N2 million. The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party disclosed on Wednesday that it has approved the Schedule of Activities and Timetable for the 2023 general election. The NEC has approved the commencement of the sale of Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms from Saturday, April 23 to May 6, 2022, for the 2023 general election. It approved a 50% reduction in nomination fees for youths less than 40 years for various elective positions.
HURIWA said Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State; Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, are among the leading presidential aspirants of the ruling party.
The Rights group said the citizens must demand accountability now or we are enslaved by the higher bidder who purchases the seat of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.