- …demands immediate release of detained staff
By Taofeek Lawal
The newly resuscitated Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) has appealed to the Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba to call his men to order following the invasion of the party’s national headquarters located in Area 2 Garki in Abuja on 18th of November 2014 by members of the Nigeria Police from Garki Police station.
The party frowned at the action of the police which led to the arrest and detention of one of its staff, Mr. Mohammed Madawaki.
The UPN in a statement signed by its National Secretary, Alhaji Abubakar Sokoto said “We wish to bring to the notice of the Inspector General of Police and the general public, the harassment of National Officers and Secretariat Staff of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) by members of the Nigerian Police in Abuja at the behest of Dr. Frederick Fasehun, the suspended National Chairman of the party.”
“On Tuesday 18th of November, 2014, some policemen from Garki Police station came to the National Headquarters of the party located at Block 10 Flat 1 Amazuma close, Area 2 Garki Abuja. They claimed they were investigating allegations of theft, break-in, hooliganism and vandalism leveled by Dr. Fasehun against the following leaders and staff of the party: Dr. Manzo Abubakar the Acting National Chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Sokoto, the National Secretary, Dr. Ola Olateju, the National Organizing Secretary, Alhaji Bari Salau, the National Publicity Secretary and Mr. Godwin Odey, the Administrative Assistant. Present in the party’s office when the policemen came was Mr. Mohammed Madawaki, the office cleaner as most of the national officers are not resident in Abuja.”
The statement added that “The policemen thereafter arrested the said Mohammed whose name was not mentioned in the allegation. Attempts by Dr Manzo Abubakar to secure his bail was rebuffed by the Police as he himself was arrested but was later released on bail on the intervention of some police officers that followed him to the Garki Police station. As at the time of this release, the Police are still holding on to Mr. Mohammed Madawaki. We have it on good authority that Mr. Mohammed Madawaki has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Bureau in Abuja for further interrogations. He has been kept beyond the statutory 48 hours without being charged to court.”
“It is a known fact that Dr. Fasehun was suspended at the National Executive Council Meeting of the UPN held at Agura Hotel, Abuja on the 13th of October. At the end of the meeting, the Party formally communicated the suspension of Dr. Fasehun to the Chairman of INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega. A response from INEC by the party reveals that the electoral Commission is still studying the process leading to the suspension of Dr. Fasehun to see if this complied with the constitution of the Party or not.”
“It therefore beats our imagination that the police could jump into the fray in this purely internal affair of the party by allowing the Force to be used for settling political scores. The arbiters in political party’s internal affairs are the relevant organs of the parties such as NEC, the INEC and the law courts. It is their decisions that the police and other security agencies are meant to enforce and not the whims of individuals. We are therefore calling on the Inspector General of Police to call his men to order to stop this harassment of UPN leaders and staff.
He should also order the immediate release of the Mr. Mohammed as the poor man has not committed any offense that could have warranted his unlawful detention beyond 48 hours,” the statement concluded.