Former presidential aide, Dr. Umar Ardo has told President Donald Trump to ask President Muhammadu Buhari why he jailed an American citizen, Mahmet Ben Chemb, 95 years when he was military head of state in 1984.
Buhari is going to meet with Trump today in New York, and Dr. Ardo who spoke to newsmen in Abuja yesterday, alleged that Buhari jailed Chemb without any evidence against her.
“There was this case of the wealthy American lady, Mahmet Ben Chembi, who brought in her $17 million from the US to invest in plumbing in the building of Abuja, but was framed of defrauding the Nigerian state and taken to Buhari’s military tribunal and jailed for 95 years without a shred of evidence adduced against her by the government,” he recalled.
Ardo who is from Adamawa State, served as Special Adviser, Research and Documentation to former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar. He is also Secretary of Northern Leaders and Stakeholders Assembly.
According to him, President Buhari was not new to taking extra judicial means to deal with perceived enemies even when there were no evidence against them, adding that because Buhari was not known to be a democrat, there was no way he would abide by courts’ pronouncements on issues that have to do with freedom of people.
Despite being sent to jail, Dr. Ardo alleged that the American lady was fined N500 million.
“It was the regime of another military dictator, Ibrahim Babangida that set up a Judicial Review Panel that reviewed the case and released her from jail.
“President Donald Trump should ask his guest, President Muhammadu Buhari why he did that to his (Trump ) citizen.
“There was also the case of a wealthy Nigerian woman resident in Saudi Arabia who returned to the country and was arrested on arrival at Kano airport, taken to tribunal and jailed 10 years for being in possession of N600. She had a five-year old daughter who was sent to jail along with her, ” he further recalled.
He likened the looters list released earlier this month by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed to Ben Chem’s case.
“No wonder, with the absence of kangaroo military tribunals in the current democratic setup, the government is unable to successfully prosecute and convict any of the so-called looters three years after coming to power beyond the pages of newspapers,” he added.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), over the weekend, detailed what it termed anti-democratic activities committed by Buhari since he became president in 2015.
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