The opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has demanded the immediate release of its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, who was Tuesday morning arrested and detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Mr. Metuh was invited for a “friendly” chat by the EFCC to clear some issues pertaining to some funds traced to an account belonging to his company.
But the opposition party described the arrest as unsurprising considering the fact that the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, has “obviously not (been) comfortable with our stance on the confused state of the nation under their watch”.
In a statement signed by its National Secretary, Wale Oladipo, the PDP said the arrest of Mr. Metuh underscores the growing political intolerance in the country and the foisting of a police state, which was last Wednesday underscored by the President and Commander-in-Chief himself, who “defended why a government in a democracy should flout constitutional provision and brazenly disobey court orders”.
PDP said it has “intelligence” that the arrest of its spokesperson, “is part of a larger script by the government to ensure that PDP wings are finally clipped in their mission to install a dictatorial one-party state in the country”.
“The excesses of security agencies under this government, especially the Directorate of Security Services (DSS) and the EFCC, in abridging the human rights of PDP members have become worrisome and a threat to our democratic evolution.
“Nigerians and the international community will recall that on a number of occasions, the PDP, through its spokesman has been outspoken on some undemocratic proclivities being exhibited by the APC-led Federal Government in the last seven months.
“The PDP insists that for whatever reason Chief Metuh was arrested, his rights as a citizen under the law must not be trampled upon. We therefore demand (for) his immediate release and that due process of investigation and prosecution concerning him should be strictly adhered to.
“We state this because we have been made aware of top directives to break Chief Metuh and if possible poison him during his detention by the EFCC”, the party said.
The statement pointed out that since his arrest at about 10am yesterday, Mr. Metuh has been kept incommunicado, with his lawyers denied access to him.
It also described the arrest of Mr. Metuh as the last straw that may break Nigeria’s democracy, which the PDP has nurtured for the last 16 years.
“We therefore forewarn the Federal Government and its agencies to save our democracy and forthwith release our National Publicity Secretary.
“We are also calling on the international community and well-meaning Nigerians to stand up for this democracy, which our party nurtured for 16 years and deepened to a level where the opposition, for the first time in our political history, had the opportunity to win in a general election”, the party said.