- Accuses EFCC, presidency of witch-hunt
By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded the immediate and unconditional release of its chieftain, Dr. Doyin Okupe, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The party made the demand in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja yesterday.
The PDP described Dr. Okupe’s arrest and detention as an act of intimidation and harassment by the Muhammadu Buhari-led presidency in its bid to browbeat the opposition and dissenting voices in our country ahead of the 2019 general election.
According to the statement, “This arrest is part of the grand plot to escalate the clampdown on opposition leaders, in the attempt to cow and subjugate them as the elections draw nearer, a scheme the PDP had since alerted the nation about.
“The PDP invites Nigerians to note that the EFCC was unleashed on Dr. Okupe with fabricated charges, just because of his criticisms of the misrule of the Buhari administration, particularly, his last Wednesday’s demand to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare President Buhari as not validly nominated as a Presidential candidate for the 2019 elections.
“Since this comment, Dr. Okupe has been threatened, harassed and his home raided by officials of the EFCC last Saturday over claims of cyber stalking, which they could not substantiate, only for the commission to arrest and detain him on Monday.
“It is indeed unfortunate that the EFCC, under President Buhari, has been turned to a militant wing of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to hound, intimidate, harass and even extort money from opposition leaders and other Nigerians perceived to be opposed to Mr. President’s ill-fated re-election bid.
“If the EFCC has not been compromised by the Buhari President, why has it not invited or even questioned officials of the Presidency indicted for corruption or the factional National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, over alleged extortion of billions of naira from his party members, for which he even had to flee the country?
“Why has the EFCC not invited the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal and President Buhari’s close relatives, who were recently mentioned by a suspect, Amina Mohammed, as being involved in serial looting of public resources?
“Moreover, instead of using their so-called technology and intelligence to harass and extort money from innocent, harmless and law-abiding citizens, we challenge our now well-trained EFCC officials to join our security agencies and deploy their technology in the fight against terrorism in the North East.
“Finally, the PDP, for the umpteenth time cautions the Buhari Presidency over its resort to wicked politics of chasing after opposition leaders and their family members as such will not save President Buhari from the resolve by majority of Nigerians to vote him out of office and elect Atiku Abubakar, come 2019”, the party said.