Monday, 31 August 2015

Rivers PDP Petition Targeted To Mislead Buhari – Senator Abe

Rivers PDP Petition Targeted To Mislead Buhari 
A former chairman of the Senate committee on petroleum, Senator Magnus Abe, has told President Muhammadu Buhari that the petition written to the president by Peoples Democratic Party members of the National Assembly from Rivers state was written in bad faith with the intent of misleading the president.

Abe, in an open letter to Buhari dated August 27, said the petition was also calculated to ridicule the army and the office of the director general of the Department of State Security (DSS).

He said that what transpired at the tribunal is that the tribunal, at the request of the petitioners (him and other petitioners) issued a subpoena directed at the chief of army staff (or any of his designated officers) and the director general of the DSS (or any of his designated officers) to appear before the tribunal and give evidence on what they witnessed during the conduct of the NASS election in the state on March 28, 2015, since they were some of the security agencies that provided security during the elections.

As This Day reports, Abe said that it was a normal practice to use a subpoena as an instrument of court to compel people to give evidence in court. He wondered why the PDP lawmakers were making a big deal out of it.

“It is therefore mischievous and indeed unreasonable for anybody, especially the Rivers PDP, to cast baseless aspersion on these gallant officers of the Nigerian Army and the DSS. One can only wonder whether it would not have been foolhardy for the chief of army staff and the DG of DSS to refuse to comply with the sacrosanct order of the tribunal.

“In fact, such an act would not only have been foolish, same is indeed a crime as refusal to comply with the tenor of a subpoena is out-rightly punishable with a criminal contempt proceeding against the culprit,” he said.

The senator declared that the fact that officers of the army and security service gave evidence before the tribunal did not amount to politicisation of the agencies and that the PDP members who wrote the petition were only crying foul when nothing was wrong.

He stated that the military officers who gave evidence were ordered to do so by the tribunal and not by APC members who are the petitioners before the tribunal.

Abe said rather than vilify the officers for complying with a court order, the PDP members ought to have commended the officers.

He told the president that the fight against corruption and lawlessness cannot be tarnished by baseless and spurious insinuations of nepotism as depicted by the petition.

“Your Excellency, this petition is just another one in the series of such letters/petitions geared towards whipping up unfavourable sentiments against members of our party,” he said.

Last week, after allegations of interference by security agencies in the hearing of cases before the state election petition tribunal, 16 senators and members of the House of Representatives from Rivers state had submitted a petition to the president to intervene.