The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of either engaging in blatant mischief or wallowing in crass ignorance by calling its Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, an ex-convict saying a political prisoner is different from a criminal convict.
In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said any attempt to label Chief Akande an ex-convict in a pejorative sense would be an exercise in futility, because he was neither convicted for abuse of office nor for any corruption-related offence by a duly constituted court.
It said the Special Military Tribunal that tried and sentenced hundreds of politicians, including Chief Akande, in the 1980s cannot be a reason to label all those it tried and convicted criminal ex-convicts, reminding 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!
‘’Chief Bisi Akande, whom the PDP has chosen to pick on in its misguided mudslinging, is an embodiment of honesty, integrity, transparency and decency, who is more of a role model to our youth than most members of the PDP.
He served creditably in the private and the public sector, where he held many top posts including that of a Governor.