Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
Former Vice President and presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has written to the ambassadors of the United States (US), European Union (EU), France, Germany, as well as the United Kingdom (UK) High Commissioner to Nigeria, intimating them of alleged constitutional breaches by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In the January 27 letter, which was distributed to journalists, yesterday, Atiku, said Buhari is consistently violating the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
He listed Buhari’s alleged constitutional violations to include the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria ( CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, ‘illegal’ purchase of Tucano aircraft, constant disregard for court orders, $1 billion military expenditure without recourse to the National Assembly; among others.
He said: “President Muhammadu Buhari is threatening our democracy by serially breaching the provisions of our constitution and undermining organs and institutions of state. While the president has ironically taken the oath to safeguard and defend the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the reality of his selective and wanton violations of its provisions means his oath is observed only in the breach.
“And… respect for the rule of law is integral to promoting and preserving the values and principles of democracy. Sadly, however, by the actions of the government of president Muhammadu Buhari, one is forced to think otherwise.
“As a presidential candidate in the forthcoming general election that will be conducted and supervised by the government of president Buhari, I feel the urgent need to share with you some of these key violations of the provisions of our constitution and to demand that you pile pressure on the federal government to desist from these violations and ensure a level playing field for the general election that are only a couple of weeks away.”
He recalled that Buhari had spurned several court orders to release detained former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Ibraheem El-Zakzaky,
“Various courts have granted Dasuki bail on, at least, six different occasions (but) government has refused to comply with the court orders. The Federal High Court in Abuja, presided by Justice Adeniyi Ademola, in 2015, ordered release Dasuki’s passport and granted him permission to travel abroad on medical grounds. Despite November 3 order, the Department of State Services, refused to release Dasuki. Again, the former NSA and four others were granted bail on December 18, 2015; on a similar condition with a N250 million bond by Justice Hussein-Baba Yusuf.
Similarly, the former NSA; a former minister of state for Finance, Bashir Yuguda; former Sokoto governor, Attahiru Bafarawa; and three others were granted bail by Justice Peter Affen on December 21, 2015, by the Federal Capital Territory High Court in the sum of N250 million each and two sureties in like sum. Government cherry-picked the order whilst disobeying the part that concerned the former NSA,” Atiku stated.