A Nigerian lawyer based in the United States, Barrister Amos Onokevbagbe, has vowed to drag the leading presidential candidates in the 2023 elections to court if they fail to immediately release to the public, their health, fitness, and academic certificates, as well as declared declare their assets.
Mr Onokevbagbe, who is the Publisher of Caracal Reports worldwide, said Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, Peter Obi of the Labour Party, and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, should make those certificate public to enable Nigerians ascertain the state of those seeking to lead the country in the coming four years so that history does not repeat itself.
He said, “My country Nigeria is on edge today because of poor leadership. Nigeria, ‘supposedly’ the giant of Africa, has become a giant failure due to unqualified, sick, and uneducated leadership. The good people of Nigeria deserve a good quality of life, and only a good, fit and qualified leader can steer the Nigerian ship to greatness. Our demand is not in vacuum because the 1999 Constitution requires that any candidates vying for the highest office must have the qualification to do so.
“The affected candidates in this request are the flagbearer of All Progressive Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, and Labour Party’s Peter Obi.
“In the coming days I shall be engaging the services of my solicitors to take further steps in this matter.”
The US based lawyer added in a statement he signed and made available to newsmen on Monday, that Nigerian citizens had the fundamental right to know the assets, wellness and academic qualifications of whoever would pilot the affairs of the country starting from 2023.
This, he maintained, would either encourage the citizens or discourage them to consider casting their votes for any of the candidates.
“Office of the president of Nigeria is a public office. So, whoever will contest for this office must avail the citizens to know everything about him or her. The day you decide to contest for this office, you have made up your mind to be answerable to the citizens’ calls and requests, so you are not expected to hide anything from them,” he added.
He urged Nigerians to learn how to hold their leaders accountable in all ramifications, noting that the failure to do so in the past was what encouraged different corrupt practices in the country.
According to him, a new Nigeria, where every Nigerian is involved in the government by holding the leaders accountable for governance every time is possible.
“Nigerians need to know their rights. As a Nigerian-American, if I can hold the American government accountable then Nigerians living in the country should hold their leaders accountable. And this can start before you elect them into the various offices. With this and more, Nigeria will be made a better place for everyone soon,” Onakevgbagbe added.