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Femi Falana reacts to FGs claims Peter Obi is committing treason over Presidential election

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Femi Falana reacts to FGs claims Peter Obi is committing treason over Presidential election

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Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, has dismissed the claim by the Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed that the Labour Party presidential team of Peter Obi and Datti Ahmed is engaging in subversive acts.

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The Minister had accused the LP presidential team of plotting violent change of government in Nigeria by not accepting the outcome of the February 25 presidential poll.

But Mr. Falana said all the candidates pronounced victorious by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the different segments of the general election would be sworn in on the said day, including those of Labour Party.

The lawyer further dismissed the government’s treason charge against the Labour presidential ticket.

He said based on Section 37 of the Criminal Code Act, the duo have not acted illegally by their recent utterances, regardless of the political optics.

He said, “Messrs Peter Obi and Datti Ahmed have approached the court to challenge the results of the presidential election in line with the provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Act.

“The law provides that the persons declared by INEC to have won the elections shall be sworn in pending the determination of the election petitions.

“The law prescribes 180 days (6 months) for hearing of election petitions and 60 days (two months) for appeals arising from the decisions of trial courts or tribunals.

“All elected candidates including Labour Party elected members are going to be sworn in on May 29.”

Speaking on Datti’s comments that have heightened the political temperature in the country, Mr. Falana says expression of one’s opinion doesn’t amount to treason.

“Whoever says inauguration will not hold is merely expressing his or her opinion. It is not treason to express one’s personal opinion” he contends, adding, “By virtue of section 37 of the Criminal Code Act, treason occurs when any person levies war against the State, in order to intimidate or overawe the President or the Governor of a State.

“Any person found guilty of treason, and is liable to the punishment of death” he concluded.

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