CNPP, CSOs give 21-day ultimatum to NCDMB boss over alleged perjury
Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) and a coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) have given a 21-day ultimatum to Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Kesiye Wabote, asking him to step down to allow investigation of alleged perjury against him.
In a joint statement signed by CNPP Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, and Secretary of the coalition, Alhaji Ali Abacha, yesterday, they said the call was in the interest of justice and in line with the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s avowed stance against corruption.
The statement reads in part: “We learnt of the ongoing case in the United States of America; a libel suit instituted by lawyers acting on the authority of the Executive Secretary, in which the defendant’s counsel is accusing Wabote of perjury and lying on oath in his case against Jackson Ude, a journalist, in a United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
“Attorney to Ude, from Amadi Law Office at 204 Blossom Street Extension, Suite A. Lynn MA 01901, Beneth O. Amadi, had in a letter dated January 15, 2022 and addressed to the Honorable Joseph F. Leeson, Jr., United States District Judge, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 504 West Hamilton Street, Suite 3401, alleged that Wabote perjured (lied on oath) in his response to interrogatories.
“The court had on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 ordered Wabote to provide ‘full and complete responses to defendant’s interrogatories’, as the court was not satisfied with earlier responses provided by Wabote and his counsel.
“In his reaction to the responses by Wabote to the interrogatories, counsel for the defendant (Ude) wrote to the court demanding sanction for the plaintiff (Wabote) and his attorneys for committing fraud on the court, for perjury, and for acting in subornation of perjury in this case.”
The statement notes further: “(We) found it shocking that if knowingly, and with clear intention, as ≈Wabote was accused, he is working to derail the course of justice and torpedo defendant’s access to justice in a case in far away United States, he will do worse in Nigeria.
“To ensure he does not continue to obstruct the course of justice both in Nigeria and the United States, we call for his immediate suspension, or he should voluntarily step aside for proper investigation into corruption allegations against him.”
“We call on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and the National Assembly to immediately institute a probe of the core allegations against him, as contained in a petition directed to the CCB.
“If he fails to resign within 21 days, we shall be left with no choice but take legal actions against him, including mobilising the civil society community to occupy the National Assembly and relevant anti-corruption institutions until the needful done.”