Femi Falana Slams Buhari For Pardoning Nyame, Dariye
Femi Falana (SAN), a human rights activist and lawyer, has condemned the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for giving state pardons to former governors of Plateau and Taraba, Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame, respectively.
Falana, who spoke at the one-year commemoration event for the late Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, said other imprisoned offenders should be given the same opportunity.
According to Naija02, President Muhammadu Buhari presided over a meeting of the Council of State on Thursday, during which he pardoned the former governors who had been imprisoned for corruption, as well as 157 others.
Femi Falana, while admitting that the pardon for Nyame and Dariye was unjust, also said that under the 1999 constitution, all citizens are treated equally.
In his opinion, the state pardon should be extended to all thieves and criminals now serving prison sentences in different jails around the country.
“My reaction is that all criminals, all thieves and criminals in our prisons should be released.
“Because section 17 of the constitution says there shall be equality, equal rights for all citizens and section 42 said there shall be no discrimination on the basis of class, gender, whatever, so you can’t take out two people and leave the rest there. It’s illegal,” he said.
Falana said that the 1999 constitution should be referred to as “decree 24 on 1999” when discussing it.
He claimed that Abdulsalam Abubakar, the then Head of State, had not signed the so-called constitution in its proper form.
Falana said: “What the National Assembly has continued to do is to amend illegality. The so-called 1999 constitution is really decree 24 of 1999. When you see the so-called constitution, you will not the signature of the man who signed the law, that’s the fraud.
“When you see a law, the name of the person who signed it should be there with the date.
“Decree 24 of 1999 was promulgated by General Abdulsalam Abubakar on the 5th of May 1999 but today you will not see his name on it. It’s a fraudulent document.
“The decree was imposed on us the last set of military dictators in Nigeria headed by Gen. Abubakar and because that document is okay for members of the ruling class regardless of their political parties, ethic regional or religious inclination, they are all comfortable with the document so they can’t do anything about it including all those we are campaigning today to be President.
“It is to retain the status quo and perhaps adjust it here and there, that is the only thing they are saying, so those who are contesting particularly on the platform of the ruling party are saying we are going to continue the programme of the Buhari administration that has put our country in problem.
“Nigeria has become a huge joke in the committee of nations and so for any set of people to say they want to package his rickety vehicle and begin to panel beat it, it’s not going to move.”