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Treason Charge: Obasanjo Pardoned Me Since 2004 - Dokubo

Posted by By Emeka Mamah on 2005/10/27 | Views: 809 |

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Treason Charge: Obasanjo Pardoned Me Since 2004 - Dokubo


DETAINED leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF), Alhaji Asari Dokubo yesterday commenced a legal move before a Federal high court sitting in Abuja to challenge the validity of a set of treason charges recently preferred against him by the Federal Government.

DETAINED leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF), Alhaji Asari Dokubo yesterday commenced a legal move before a Federal high court sitting in Abuja to challenge the validity of a set of treason charges recently preferred against him by the Federal Government.

He is specifically contending that the charges against him could not stand since President Olusegun Obasanjo had invoked section 175 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the year 2004 to grant him amnesty over the same treason offence slammed at him by the Federal Government.

The said section titled "prerogative of mercy" provides that the president may :

- Grant any person concerned with or convicted of any offence created by an Act of the National Assembly a pardon, either free or subject to lawful conditions;

- Grant to any person a respite, either for an indefinite or for a specified period, of the execution of any punishment imposed on that person for such an offence;

- Substitute a less severe form of punishment for any punishment imposed on that person for such an offence or;

- Remit the whole or any part of any punishment imposed on that person for such an offence or of any penalty or forfeiture otherwise due to the state on account of such an offence.

Dokubo who dismissed as laughable the treason charge preferred against him by the Federal Government also alleged yesterday that weeks after the Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN) arraigned him before the court and promised to furnish him with the proof of evidence in the case, he said Chief Ojo was yet to fulfill his pledge.

He had already written a letter through his counsel, Mr Festus Keyamo, to the Federation Attorney, demanding for the proof of evidence to enable him prepare his defence.

In his bid to wriggle out of the treason charge hanging on his neck, Dokubo yesterday formally filed an application at the registry of the Federal high court, Abuja, requesting the trial judge in the criminal matter to issue subpoena ad testificandum (summons to appear and testify in law court) against President Olusegun Obasanjo who granted him pardon in the year 2004 over the charges he is presently standing trial for, the Director of the State Security Service, Dr Kayode Are and 26 others for the purpose of confirming his claim.

Although the application was already before Justice Babs Kewumi trying Dokubo for the treasonable offences, he was still vetting it as at press time.

Vanguard could not ascertain yesterday whether the trial judge had signed the subpoena or not.

Apart from President Obasanjo and Kayode Are, the 26 others against whom Dokubo wanted the subpoena ad testificandum issued are Mrs Remi Oyo, Prof S Ihonvbere, Mr Chukwuemeka Chikelu, Mr Fubura Duke(SSS Rivers), Senator Tari Sekibo, Chairman, Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State, Governor (Dr) Peter Odili of Rivers State and Prince Secondus (PDP Chairman, Rivers State).

Others are Mr Rotimi Amaechi (Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly), Mr Tonye Harry (Deputy Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr Timi Alaibe, Mr Steve Davis, Mr Miebiye Kuromiema, Dr Judith Asuni and Dr Akiya Sekibo.

Other names on the list include Chief Opaks Harry, Mr Abiye Harry, Mrs Stella Obasanjo, Mr Chris Uba, Chief of Staff to the President, Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr Agbaje of the SSS Rivers state, Mr Lawrence Alobi, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff and Chief of Air Staff.

According to Dokubo, in an 8-point affidavit in support of his request for subpoena against Obasanjo and others, he said several meetings were held at different times in the year 2004 between him and the Federal Government culminating in the exercise by President Obasanjo of his constitutional powers to pardon him of the treason offences reeled out against him.

He fingered all the names mentioned above as physically present at the meetings "and as such they are necessary witnesses in this criminal proceedings"

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