Civil society groups vow to ‘resist’ Jonathan’s pardon to Alamieyeseigha

Former Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha

CSNAC says the presidential pardon granted to Mr. Alamieyeseigha is an abuse of power and a great disappointment.

The Civil Society Network Against Corruption, CSNAC, has vowed to resist the presidential pardon granted to convict former Governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.

President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Council of States had on Tuesday granted state pardon to Mr. Alamieyeseigha, who was convicted in 2007 after he pleaded guilty to money laundering.

The group in a statement, Thursday, described the move as an abuse of power and a disappointment.

“We shall explore and collaborate with other stakeholders to resist this constitutional breach and international opprobrium associated with the government of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. Nigeria has never had it so bad,” said the statement. signed by Olanrewaju Suraju, the group’s Chairman.

CSNAC said its primary aim is to constructively combat corruption “vigorously” and to ensure the effective monitoring of the various anti-graft agencies in their activities in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

The group maintained that although the 1999 constitution confers on the president the power to grant pardon to any person convicted of any offence, Mr. Alamieyeseigha’s case was “nothing short of the president’s insensitivity to the plight of Nigerians who suffer, every day, the consequences of the corrupt actions of its leaders.”

“Nigeria has lost over $380 billion dollars to graft between 1960 and 1999. This is the same country that 60% of its citizens live on less than a dollar a day,” the statement said.

Others who were also pardoned include another ex-convict and former head of Bank of the North, Shettima Bulama; Oladipo Diya, a retired General; Abdulkarim Adisa, a retired Major-General, among others.

CSNAC stated that Mr. Alamieyeseigha was the main target of the pardon, the others being “a mere smokescreen.”

“We verily believe that the president’s pardon of Alamieyeseigha was done on personal grounds, with the president publicly acknowledging the ex-governor as his political benefactor,” said Mr. Suraju.

“Others included in the pardon are mere smokescreen to achieve the ultimate objective of the President.

“By this singular act, the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan has further (confirmed) his government’s purported fight against corruption to be nothing but a ruse.

“This and many other actions of the President sends only one clear message to all public officials high and low, ‘corruption and abuse of office is the fundamental objective and directive principle of policy’ of this government,” Mr. Suraju added.


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