News / Africa

Diaspora Group Criticizes Nigerian President’s Pardons

Nigerian incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan cast his ballot in Otuoke, Nigeria, April 16, 2011. Nigerian incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan cast his ballot in Otuoke, Nigeria, April 16, 2011.
x
Nigerian incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan cast his ballot in Otuoke, Nigeria, April 16, 2011.
Nigerian incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan cast his ballot in Otuoke, Nigeria, April 16, 2011.
James Butty
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s pardons last week of four individuals, including former Bayelsa State Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, continue to stir negative reaction.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland described the pardons as a setback in the fight against corruption.  

The Council of Ogoni Professionals International, a Nigerian diaspora group in the United States, also disagreed with the pardons.  

Council member Anslem John-Miller said, instead of pardoning corrupt officials and giving amnesty to militants, Jonathan should have called for a judicial review of the trial and conviction of environmentalist Ken Saro-Wiwa. 

Saro-Wiwa and his Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) campaigned for greater control over oil and gas resources on Ogoni land and against environmental devastation.

Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogonis were executed in 1995.  John-Miller said he contributed to the restoration of democracy in Nigeria.

"It’s not that we are totally against individuals being pardoned by the federal government, but we feel that individuals who have been convicted of a certain crime, particularly corruption, should have been made to face the consequences of their actions so as to serve as a deterrence to others," he said.

John-Miller said, by pardoning people like Alamieyeseigha, the federal government is leaving an impression that it is not serious about the country’s ongoing fight against corruption.

Butty interview with John-Miller
Butty interview with John-Milleri
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

Doyin Okupe, Jonathan’s senior special assistant on public affairs was quoted as saying that Alamieyeseigha had been adequately punished for his action, and that he had been playing a quiet role in helping to stabilize the volatile Niger Delta region.

"You don’t just jump up to pardon people.  There should have been a judicial panel to review the charges against the individual and then, on the basis of the recommendation of the judicial panel, the charges can then be dismissed or those individuals can be pardoned," John-Miller said.

He said Jonathan should have called for a judicial review of the case of Saro-Wiwa and the eight other Ogonis.

“This was a man [Saro-Wiwa] and other Ogonis who were killed unjustly by the Abacha military regime.  In fact, the issue of the Niger Delta is where it is today because of the effort of Ken Saro-Wiwa.  And it is an indisputable fact, and undeniable fact, that Ken Saro-Wiwa remains a prisoner of conscience until the day he died.  Why is it that the Jonathan Administration has refused to do anything about the case of Ken Saro-Wiwa," John-Miller said.

He said his group is not calling for Jonathan to pardon Saro-Wiwa and the eighth other Ogonis because they believe Saro-Wiwa and the others were unjustly convicted and hanged.

"We cannot say he should be pardoned, and we not in the position to beg the Jonathan administration to do that because the Jonathan administration is there today because Ken Saro-Wiwa contributed immensely to the restoration of democracy in Nigeria, and the Ogoni have not benefited anything from the present administration, and it is high time that the government takes proactive steps to address the Ogoni Bill of Rights," he said.

The Ogoni Bill of Rights was presented to the Nigerian government in 1990.  It called for political autonomy to participate in the affairs of the Republic as a distinct and separate unit, provided that this autonomy guarantees political control of Ogoni affairs by Ogoni people; the right to control and use a fair proportion of Ogoni economic resources for Ogoni development; and, the right to protect the Ogoni environment and ecology from further degradation.

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: abiamone from: London
March 18, 2013 7:08 AM
State or Presidential pardon is Jonathan's prerogative. But given that Nigeria's number one enemy today is corruption, it is wrong to pardon anybody whose crime is corruption. Diepreiye Alamieyeseigha jumped bail in London. His crime bordered on corruption and money laundering. It is foolhardy to grant him pardon now when he has not atoned for his crime. Jonathan might as well have granted amnesty to James Ibori, who is now in a London jail for his own crimes. Only a corrupt president can grant amnesty to corrupt politicians.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid