The Hope Democratic Party (HDP) has filed a motion in an Abuja Federal High Court seeking to invalidate President Goodluck Jonathan’s election after it was revealed he allegedly funded his campaign with N160 billion fuel subsidy funds.
In an originating summons brought in court on Friday, Chief Ambrose Owuru, the party’s presidential candidate urged the court to hold that the use of the “slush funds” to prosecute the president’s 2011 election was illegal and contravened the electoral laws and guidelines.
The suit, which joins the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the Senate President, David Mark as defendants, also claimed that the President’s assumption of office without declaring his assets is a violation of section 140 of the 1999 constitution.
Following street protests and public outcry over federal government’s removal of fuel subsidy in January, it was revealed that over N1.3 trillion were siphoned from the treasury for purported fuel importations.
A National Assembly probe however indicted 17 oil firms in the fraud, some of which are owned by children of highly placed government officials. Subsequently the EFCC in July commenced phased prosecution of the suspects in a Lagos Federal High Court.
But the HDP claims the prosecution is not transparent, adding that the withdrawal of charges against select suspects who allegedly contributed to the 2011 campaign fund is a “seeming complicity to the oil subsidy scandal” by the executive.
The party further claims the superior financial muscle of the PDP during the presidential elections, put it in a disadvantage.
“The Presidential election was completely bought over and became bereft of any campaign of ideas or programmes of candidates as it became obvious illicit money was just thrown at the people to sway them to ignore real issues and vote the 1st defendant”, Owuru averred.
He further claimed illegal campaign funds totaling about $300 million were funneled through some serving ministers including the Minister of Petroleum Diezani Allison-Madueke; Aviation, Stella Oduah and Niger Delta, Godsday Orubebe by some oil dealers during the election campaign in 2011.
The Managing Director of Ontario Oil and Gas Ltd, Adaoha Ugo-Ngadi, who is standing trial along with 20 others over the alleged fraud, was said to have made moves to halt the on-going prosecutions otherwise they will expose the President.
The oil dealers, who were alleged to have written the President to halt the charges, also informed him about how they bought a mansion valued at N600 million for Orubebe in Abuja ahead of the elections.
Owuru links these threats of exposing the president to the Attorney General’s withdrawing of charges against Durosola Omogbemigun, Peter Mba, Integrated Resources Ltd and Pinnacle Oil and Gas Ltd in July. No date has been fixed for hearing.