Posted by News Express | 11 December 2018 | 1,729 times
Angered by what it called the “open double standard” of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), a pro-democracy and civil society group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has challenged the anti-graft agency to show that it is not the armed wing of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) by taking steps to redeem its battered image.
The group wants the global community “not to stand by and watch as President Muhammadu Buhari uses the EFCC; the Police and other armed security forces to undermine constitutional democracy and seek to manipulate the outcome of the forthcoming polls in favour of the ruling party.” The rights group also expressed fears that “these illegal steps by the Federal Government could precipitate social chaos and upheavals that may have untoward consequences to our constitutional democracy.”
HURIWA tasked the Ibrahim Magu-led EFCC to desist from confiscating the legitimate finances of the presidential running mate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Peter Obi, and to arrest and interrogate a member of the APC in the Federal House of Representatives, Alhaji Umar Bago, for flouting extant laws on campaign finances by his unilateral donation of 110 vehicles to the incumbent President.
In a media statement, the National Coordinator of HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, lamented that the Ibrahim Magu-led EFCC has since embarked on a voyage of destroying constructive political opposition to the incumbent president through all sorts of subterfuge and politically tainted prosecutorial blackmail, intimidation and deployment of unfair and unconstitutional tactics such as the illegal muzzling of the financial muscles of the only opposition party strong enough to pose a threat President Buhari in the 2019 poll.
“The freezing of the bank account of Mr. Peter Obi who had left the political scene as governor for many years now without any atom of suspicions and has only just returned as the running mate to PDP's presidential flagbearer, Atiku Abubakar, is, at best, a blackmail of the most primitive dimension just as HURIWA demanded to know why EFCC has resorted to the use of unfair mechanisms to destroy opposition politics in Nigeria including the invasions of homes of children of the leading opposition candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
“The attack on key figures of the PDP by EFCC which has coincided with the reported sighting of its Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, at an APC presidential campaign strategy session in Nicon Luxury Hotel, Area 11 Garki Abuja, is the greatest affront to constitutional democracy and if not checked could lead to the eventual scuttling of the 2019 elections.
“We are compelled to wonder if there is a sinister plot from the topmost holder of political office in Aso Rock to scuttle the 2019 election going by the several turning down of the amendments to the Electoral Act by the President alongside the freezing of the legitimate earnings of the family of the running mate to the PDP’s presidential candidate and even the open threats to Peter Obi’s life and those of his family members by unknown supporters of APC and the behaviour of EFCC as the armed militant wing of APC.”
Also, HURIWA expressed shock that the member of the Federal House of Representative from Niger state, which is one of the northern states where 13 million children are out of school due to parental poverty and neglect of the educational sector, can single handedly donate 110 vehicles against the electoral and campaign financing statutes, to the APC presidential candidate.
HURIWA recalled that Rep. Umar Bago (APC/Niger), on Saturday donated 110 vehicles to the President Buhari re-election campaign team, with a call on the electorate to vote for continuity in the 2019 general elections.
HURIWA quoted the Reps member as explaining that the vehicles will be given to campaign officials and other APC organisations to ease movement to the rural voters to enlighten the populace on the achievements of the two leaders.
HURIWA totally condemned the failure of EFCC to arrest this unusual donor so that he can clarify if he is being used as a front by a cabal in Aso Rock to launder money or he is the owner of the vehicles.
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