The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to release its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, without further ado.
The demand was contained in a statement signed by the PDP National Legal Adviser, Mr Victor Kwon, on Saturday in Abuja.
Metuh was arrested on Tuesday by the EFCC on yet to be disclosed charges but it was learnt that it might not be unconnected with investigations into the $2.1 billion arms deal fund now known as Dasukigate.
The statement alleged that since the opposition party spokesman’s arrest, he had been kept in an underground cell where he was daily threatened by EFCC officials.
The PDP legal adviser urged the EFCC to respect the law and immediately release Mr. Metuh or charge him to court in line with the provisions of the laws, if it has a case against him.
Mr. Kwon further claimed that EFCC officials had since been mounting pressure on the PDP spokesman to accept guilt of fictitious figures and implicate leaders of the party.
“The PDP strongly cautions against the avoidable tension and looming political crisis over the continuous clamp-down on our leaders and particularly, the continued incarceration of our spokesperson.
“Our teeming members across the country have so far exercised reasonable restrain, but we caution that there is a limit to what they can stomach in the face of this brazen persecution of our spokesman”, the statement said
The PDP legal adviser, according to the statement, pointed out that the continued detention of Metuh was in clear breach of his constitutionally guaranteed liberty and fundamental human rights.
He also said that relying on a purported ‘holding charge’ derived from a Magistrate to detain Metuh beyond the statutory period allowed by the law, was in total violation of the constitution.
Mr. Kwon further stated that the detention was in total violation of extant corresponding rulings by several trial and appellate courts in the country.
“We draw the attention of all Nigerians and the international community to this illegal clamp-down on the opposition spokesman by the EFCC, using a purported holding charge said to have been derived from a Magistrate Court.
“Holding Charge implies ‘arrest before investigation’ instead of ‘investigation before arrest.
“This is clearly an aberration and abuse of judicial process which has since been declared by several courts as illegal, null and void, and of no effect as it is totally in contradiction with section 35 (1), (4), (5a) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”, the statement said.