Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Young Progressives Party (YPP) presidential candidate in the last general elections, Professor Kingsley Moghalu, has described as false allegations by Human Rights lawyer Femi Falana that he is now a member of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
He also denied being given an appointment by the ruling party, describing the claims as a “surprise and embarrassment.”
The former presidential candidate went on to demand an apology and a public retraction of what he called “this falsehood” from Mr Falana.
Prof. Moghalu, in a personally signed statement made available to the press, said:
“Yesterday, October 14, 2019 I attended Felabration 2019: The Fela Debate, an annual event to celebrate the life and work of the late musical icon Fela Anikulapo Kuti that held in Lagos.
“At a point in the event, the compere announced my presence to the audience, noting that I was a presidential candidate in the 2019 elections, and highlighted my unique connection to the event: my candidacy had been formally endorsed by Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka, who was also present at the 2019 Felabration; and my Yoruba name Ayodele has been given to me at my birth in Lagos by the late Mrs Fumilayo Ransome Kuti, Fela’s mother. I left the event at the beginning of the Question and Answer session.
“To my great surprise and embarrassment later in the day, I saw and viewed a video news report by Plus TV Africa titled “Femi Falana (SAN) publicly attacks @MoghaluKingsley for joining APC”.
“In the 46 second video Mr Falana told the audience (over the moderator’s effort to restrain him): “Is Dr Moghalu still around? I think it is unfair to single out Dr Moghalu for recognition. We should not celebrate opportunism. Here is a politician who contested on the platform of a party, who has moved conveniently to the APC. They’ve just given him an appointment and he has just discarded his own political party. I don’t think that is fair for all.”
“These statements are false. I am not a member of the APC. I have not been given any appointment by the APC government. This effort to malign my character and reputation, by an individual I have always respected, was a complete shock to me.
“It is surprising that a man of Mr. Falana’s standing, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria no less, could make such weighty statements without verification. “The media that reported this attack on me by Mr. Falana without checking the veracity of his statements acted in dereliction of their professional ethics and have actively spread fake news.
“I demand and expect an apology and a public retraction of this falsehood from Mr Falana.”
Moghalu explained that since the elections he has moved into advocacy for electoral/political reforms and voter education in Nigeria.
He said: “I contested in the 2019 presidential election as the flag bearer of the the Young Progressives Party (YPP). Since the elections I have convened To Build a Nation (TBAN), a non-partisan citizens’ movement focused on advocacy for electoral/political reforms and voter education in Nigeria. In order to strengthen the integrity of the movement’s non-partisan stance, I recently announced my resignation from the YPP. I am NOT a member of any political party.”