Chief Bisi Akande
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has described the verbal attack on it National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, by the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) as a blatant mischief and exhibition of ignorance.
The party said PDP’s labelling of Akande as an ex-convict has show that it is ignorant of the difference between a political prisoner and a criminal convict.
In a statement issued in Abuja thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said any attempt to label Chief Akande an ex-convict in a pejorative sense will be an exercise in futility.
It said Akande was neither convicted for abuse of office nor for any corruption-related offence by a duly constituted court.
According to ACN, it was the Special Military Tribunal that tried and sentenced hundreds of politicians, including Chief Akande, in the 1980s, adding that it cannot be a reason to label all those it tried and convicted criminal ex-convicts.
The party reminded the PDP that the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) ordered its members to boycott the proceeding of the tribunal simply because it failed to meet the standard of a properly-constituted court.
‘’If those who were tried and convicted by military tribunals are indeed deemed to have been properly tried and found guilty of the offences for which they were charged, many of them would not have gone ahead to hold important elective and appointive positions in the polity.
‘’Outside Nigeria you have the global icon Nelson Mandela, who was tried, found guilty and jailed for life in 1964. Of course it will be laughable for anyone trying to denigrate Mandela to tag him an ex-convict, except of course that person is a member of the PDP.”