Spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council and minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN), has called for the arrest of the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, over alleged inciting statements.
In a petition to the Department of State Services (DSS), Keyamo sought the arrest and prosecution of Obi and Baba-Ahmed for alleged “incitement and treasonable felony”.
He accused the duo of making statements that were capable of causing rebellion in the country.
In the petition addressed to the DSS director-general dated March 23, 2023, Keyamo noted that the arrest of the duo became necessary because in a post-election period such as this, there was a need to calm frayed nerves, lower the temperature and begin the healing process.
According to him, while the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, had issued a statement to this effect a few days ago, “it appears the presidential and vice-presidential candidates of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi and Datti Baba-Ahmed are not prepared to toe this conciliatory path for the sake of peace and national cohesion, whilst exercising their rights to pursue duly laid down constitutional means of addressing their grievances.”
The minister stated in the petition that ince Tinubu was declared as winner of the poll, Obi and Baba-Ahmed have been hopping from one media house to the other, making incendiary comments and claims about the declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The petition reads: “These comments and claims are made, not just within the boundaries of exercising their rights to freedom of speech and the freedom to air their grievances publicly, but they have since crossed the line to call for the outright truncation of democracy by insisting on the adoption of other processes outside the contemplation of our Constitution.
“In some cases, their privies have even called for the establishment of an Interim Government. The latest of such are the comments made by Datti Baba-Ahmed on behalf of himself and Mr. Peter Obi on Channels TV on Wednesday, March 22, wherein he threatened that if the President-elect was sworn in on May 29, it would ‘signal the end of democracy’.
“Posing as an accuser, a judge and a jury all by himself, he unilaterally declared the duly elected President-elect as ‘unconstitutional’ and, in a subliminal manner, threatened mayhem if the President-elect was sworn in on May 29.“I also have it on good authority that Mr. Peter Obi and Datti Baba-Ahmed have camped some youths in a popular hotel in Abuja with the sole aim of instructing them to push out inciting messages everyday on social media in order to cause panic and fear within the federation and to incite people to riot and social unrest.
“It is noteworthy that Peter Obi and Datti Baba-Ahmed have submitted elections petitions to the courts for adjudication, but their conducts and utterances amount to a subversion of the processes they have instituted in court and a subversion of our Constitution and the laid-down processes for addressing disputes and grievances.”
Noting that Obi and Baba-Ahmed’s conduct and utterances could be a build-up to something more sinister, Keyamo said it was important that the secret police arrest them immediately.
“In the circumstance, I submit this petition in my personal capacity as a patriotic Nigerian to invite/arrest, interrogate and after investigation, if necessary, charge both individuals to court for their conduct which amounts to incitement and treasonable felony,” he added.