Secretary of Northern Leaders and Stakeholders’ Assembly, Dr. Umar Ardo, has called on the United States President, Donald Trump, to ask President Muhammadu Buhari why he jailed an American citizen for 95 years in 1984 when he was Nigerian military Head of State.
Ardo, a former ally of ex-Vice President, Atiku Abubakar alleged that the Buhari-led military regime jailed Mahmet Ben Chembi without any evidence against her, in 1984.
Ardo told journalists on Sunday that he was not surprised that the President was reluctant in obeying court orders, even as he questioned President Buhari’s democratic credentials.
He said: “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.
“On top of it, she 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 while 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 5-year old daughter who was sent to jail along with her. ”
He also said it would be wrong to assume that the Buhari regime was corruption-free, saying the truth about its activities would be unveiled after leaving office.
He continued: “Having known all these about Buhari, and many, many more of such, I came to the inevitable conclusion that a person like that cannot make a good leader.
“It is natural therefore for reasonable people to oppose such a leadership and look out for an alternative. This is exactly what is going on in Nigeria today.
“In fact, such frivolous and unfounded accusations inundating Buhari’s past leadership has brought to serious question the current accusations against members of the past regime.
“No one should blame me if I question the truthfulness of the current exercise. After all, it is only after leaving office that the truth of one’s tenure is revealed.
“For as far as I am concerned, the current so-called looters’ list is nothing more than names of the likes of Ben Chembi. If the man can do it then, why can’t he do it now?
“I know those former leaders have their blames, but the Buhari leadership has the most blame.”
“I believe those who advised him not to run are being kind to him and are lovers of this country because they know he has lost the support of majority of Nigerians and if he re-contests and wants to use incumbency to force himself back to office, he will only plunge the country into unfathomable crises that will not be in the interest of anyone,” he added.