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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper Federal Govt to borrow N251b Oshiomhole, Adoke clash over slain aide NEWS Page 11 NEWS Page 2 •FEC to get proposal today •War of words at Council of State VOL. 8, NO. 2427 WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, 2013 TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH N150.00 Alamieyeseigha, Yar’Adua, Diya, Adisa get state pardon Jonathan tables request before Council of State President reads out long list of beneficiaries M ANY high profile ex-convicts got a suprise gift from the Federal Government yesterday. They were pardoned. Among the beneficiaries of the Council of State’s reprieve is a former Governor of Bayelsa State, DSP Alamieyeseigha, a former Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, the late Maj-Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua and some military officers implicated in the 1995 and 1997 coups against the late Military Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha. Also on the pardon list are a former Chief of General Staff, Lt.- •Alamieyeseigha From Yusuf Alli, Abuja Gen. Oladipo Diya, a former Minister of Communications, Maj.-Gen. Tajudeen Olanrewaju, a former Minister of Works, the late Gen. Abdulkareem Adisa, a former Managing Director of the defunct Bank of the North, Alhaji Shettima Bulama and Dr. Chiichii Ashwe. But the Federal Government did not release the list of beneficiaries last night - apparently because of the backlash, which the pardon of some of the beneficiaries may cause for the administration of President Jonathan, a source said. •Gen. Diya •Gen. Olanrewaju Dr. Jonathan made the recommendation for pardon the first item on the agenda at the Council of State meeting, it was learnt. But he did not drop any hint on whether or not he had consulted the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy (PACPM). According to the source, Jonathan told the meeting that he had decided to exercise the powers conferred on him by Section 175 of the 1999 Constitution. The source said: “The President said he had decided to consult with the Council of State to back his desire to pardon some of these recipi- •The late Gen. Adisa ents. He then reeled off the names of the beneficiaries of the state pardon, beginning from Alamieyeseigha. “The meeting was also treated to a long list of armed robbery suspects and awaiting prisoners in some states, who should also be pardoned. “From the countenance of the President, we suspected that the meeting was called purposely because of Alamieyeseigha, but they included others to give it national representation.” Another source said: “We learnt that Alamieyeseigha had formally applied for pardon from the Federal •The late Gen. Yar’Adua Government. It is this application that the President chose to act upon. “Some top sources said Alamieyeseigha indicated in the request for pardon that he opted for a plea bargain in the case of fraud against him, following the assurance that he would be granted state pardon. In fact, it was said that Jonathan prevailed on Alamieyeseigha to accept plea bargain.” The source went on: “I think the government wanted to live up to its agreement with AlamieyesContinued on page 2 ACN attacks PDP, No pope at INEC over APC first ballot •‘Electoral agency insincere’ •‘INEC has only intent letter’ T HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday took on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) amid the battle to register the All Progressives Congress (APC). The AC N accused INEC of “engaging in bare-faced lies and manipulation of fact by claiming that the platform African Peoples Congress has applied to the commission for registration”. The electoral agency confirmed the existence of a proposal for reg- •SEE PAGE 4&5 From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja istration from the African Peoples Congress (APC). The ACN said yesterday in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, that it had it “on good authority that a top official of INEC has boasted that the emergence of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) will be frustrated at all costs”. “Also, while the PDP has been quick to say it is not bothered by the coming together of the progressive forces, it has been having Continued on page 2 •Nigerian Cardinal John Onaiyekan prays during a grand mass in St Peter’s Basilica ahead of a papal election conclave in St Peter’s basilica at the Vatican...yesterday. PHOTO: AFP •CITYBEATS P6 •SPORTS P23 •MONEY P30 •INVESTORS P32 •POLITICS P43

The Nation March 13, 2013

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