Pantami and Garba Shehu made a daring unsuccessful attempt to convince Nigerians that the passage of time should excuse the Minister for being suspended or removed from office because he was young when he committed the crime of confessed treason in accordance with the article 41 of the Criminal Code.
In addition, according to article 43 of the Penal Code, he is excluded from the prosecution of a crime of treason after two years of his commission. But these provisions do not prevent the National Assembly from setting up a commission of inquiry with the power to advise the president to dismiss him, especially when he had already confessed to the scientist a crime of treason.
Regardless of Pantami’s age of crimes, this has no bearing on his removal from his post by the President or on the recommendation of the Senate. The argument in favor of the age exemption is a non-sequitur (a statement that does not logically follow from another) to justify keeping him in office. Because with his confession of being a jihadist instigator, any deed or word on his part would be over-dissected and over-interpreted. This cannot be beneficial for the government involved in the war on terrorists because Pantami’s retention in power: 1) will be seen as a mole within the government working for terrorist groups; 2) raise a specter of more moles in government; 3) damage the morale of the armed forces as a saboteur; 4) continue to snowball the pervasive insecurity in the succession turmoil; 5) to prolong rumors of abuse of the NIN to accredit foreign Fulani for electoral rigging and the census; 6) urge the superpowers to avoid helping out of fear that their efforts will be compromised; 7) continue to cause stoppages of commercial activities and a torrential exodus in the affected area; 8) lead to read ethno-religious innuendos in all his words and actions; 9) provoke the blackmail of the Nigerian government as a terrorist government by foreign countries which continue to issue warnings to their citizens against visiting Nigeria; 10) reliable evidence of existential collaboration between terrorists and security agencies; and 11) to certify terrorists as the military wing of Fulani Islamic fundamentalists.
Pantami was a graduate of one of the Islamic universities which disseminated the doctrines of Wahhabism originating in Saudi Arabia. Wahhabism is the official hallmark of Islam for the Saudis.
They call their adherents Wahhabid or Salafist. Wahhabism is the ultra-conservative, fundamental, or puritanical sub-sector of Sunni Islam which is virulently intolerable to other Islamic sects – Shiites, ahhamadyyia – and other Sunnis who are not Salafists, and other faiths. . He demonizes followers of other Islamic sects and votarists of other religions as infidels. The Taliban, the Islamic State, Al Shabba, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda are products of Puritan Islam of Salafism. Wahhabism espouses the jihadist terrorism that Pantami imbued as a student at the Islamic Wahhabist University. Saudi Arabia spent billions of dollars in the 90s and 20s sponsoring Muslims from all over the world at various Saudi-funded universities. Pantami and other Nigerian graduates of Salafism have spread this virulent brand of Islam across the North spawning Sharia law in a multi-faith, multi-ethnic and secular Nigeria!
Without being specific, Pantami apologizes for all his alleged crimes. In essence, he admitted to scientists all these alleged crimes of support for transnational Islamic terrorist organizations, namely: Al Queada, Al Shabba, Boko Haram, Daesh and the Taliban.
Pantami’s involuntary and belated apologies for his heinous crimes are essentially an excuse to stay on as Minister, not for the crimes he committed. If the old video of him endorsing the murderous activities of some transnational terrorist groups had not surfaced, he would not have apologized. Recall that at first Pantami lambasted the medium who revealed his jihadist pedigree before reluctantly apologizing to save his ministerial appointment. Likewise, we reserve the right to dismiss his belatedly insincere apologies as deception.
The relevant questions to demonstrate the sincerity of his apology are: when did he apostatize from Salafi indoctrination? Are there any rehabilitation programs to emphasize that he is free from Wahhabism? Has he taken any training to make him open-minded and tolerant: sensitivity training, awareness training, skills training, etc.? To be frank, it is not enough to apologize after displaying âad homimeniâ (attacking a person’s character rather than attacking the problem). It was when he was denounced that he offered an apology full of caveats: “happened a long time ago”, “too young when he committed the crime”, and “no more belief in jihadist philosophy â, and so on.
Garba, talkative and deaf, tried in vain to intimidate us by saying – without listening to our point of view (special pleading) – that the allegations which Pantami had accepted were excused by a youthful exuberance; therefore, his apologies must be forgiven for remaining as Minister. Then, what about the government revelation of Pantami’s murderous jihadist propaganda from 2012 to 2020? Still, the Senate approved him for a cabinet post. If nothing, Garba’s excuse is proof of a great cover that involves the President and the Senate!
Given the gravity of Pantami’s crimes he admitted, he should be fired from his ministerial appointment. Or, the alternative, he should be suspended while his case is investigated by a panel or Senate committee to determine whether he continues to make an error of betrayal, sedition, insurrection, terrorism or the crime of treason.
It’s no surprise that Garba is concocting a big cover, insulting to our intelligence, not to send Pantami back under a president who does nothing amid the wanton destruction of lives and property across the country. But they need to be reminded that Nigeria is bigger and richer than these ethnic jingoists – and on secular Nigeria we are sine die
Olatunji is part of UniWorld Legal Services