Jafaru Isa’s Release Vindicates Our Cry – Pdp
BEVERLY HILLS, January 10, (THEWILL) – The Peoples Democratic party (PDP) says the release of Brig. General Jafaru Isa (retired), an associate of President Muhammadu Buhari and APC chieftain, by the EFCC barely eight hours after his arrest vindicates its position that the anti-corruption fight is nothing but a clamp-down mission on PDP leaders.
The PDP, in a statement on Sunday, signed by the National Legal Adviser, Barr Victor Kwon, argued that the APC-led government has a personal grudge against its spokesman, Chief Olisa Metuh, for his stance as opposition spokesman, particularly his recent exchange with the government and the APC over their dictatorial activities.
The party noted that Metuh, who was arrested without invitation by the anti-graft agency has remained incarcerated since Tuesday (five days ago), without charge, while the APC chieftain, who disregarded the commission’s invitation and had to be arrested, was quickly released after the EFCC boss met the President at the villa.
The party queried the action of the EFCC in freeing Brig. General Jafaru Isa, eight hours after his arrest last Wednesday night while Metuh is still being detained even when the two are being investigated over same allegation of receiving funds from the office of the National Security Adviser.
“The release of Jafaru Isa, a known associate of the President and chieftain of the APC eight hours after his arrest while our spokesman remains in detention even when the two are being investigated over same allegation, clearly shows that the President Buhari-led APC government is not fighting corruption but using the much hyped crusade as a cover to persecute PDP leaders and decimate the opposition, a project the EFCC has clearly yielded itself as a willing tool,” Kwon stated.
“We have information of the marching order from the Presidency for the immediate release of the President's associate and that his issue is one of the major part reasons for the repeated visits of the EFCC Chairman to the Presidential villa within the period of his arrest.
“We ask, how can the EFCC now explain to the world that it is not corrupt and teleguided by the Federal Government to persecute PDP leaders? What happened to the illegal holding charge upon which it has detained the PDP spokesman beyond the limit stipulated by section 35(5a) of the constitution and in violation of his guaranteed personal liberty under the law?
“Are there now two separate sets of laws; one for PDP leaders and perceived foes of the President Buhari-led government which allows them to be detained beyond constitutional limits without being charged to court and another set, for associates of the President associates and APC leaders, which guarantees them a slap in the back and immunity from investigation and prosecution, and if arrested, an immediate release?
“Is it really true that the fund Jafaru Isa was alleged to have received from the former NSA was traced near the corridors of those who today bestride power in the country? Furthermore, can the Federal Government and the APC now in all honesty face the world and announce that this administration is indeed waging war against corruption?
“Can the EFCC explain what has happened to several petitions by Nigerians on corruption issues against many APC leaders including those who as former governor looted funds belonging to their state? Are they now under immunity for the fact that they are in the APC and that most of the funds they looted where used to finance APC's Presidential campaign?
“While we reiterate our support for any effort aimed eradicating corruption in our nation we stand our ground in demanding that the fight must be holistic, credible, within the limits provided by the laws irrespective of political affiliations.
“The PDP therefore restates its demand that the EFCC immediately releases its spokesman, Chief Olisa Metuh or charge him to court if they have any case against him. His continued detention without being charged to court is only indicative of the fact that the commission has not been able convince itself of enough evidence of guilt and is now lending itself as a willing instrument of persecution against Chief Metuh.
“The public will recall that the PDP is not given to frivolous claims as evidenced in many instances including our alert last year of a meeting between the Presidency, the then newly appointed INEC Chairman and top security officers just before the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections.
“Finally, we state with every sense of responsibility that now that it is clear, with the release of Jafaru Isa eight hours after his arrest, that the continued detention of our spokesman is politically motivated, this party can no longer guarantee that it can rein in its members and supporters who have been exercising restrain since this particular arrest by the EFCC.
“Nigeria belongs to all of us and the laws are made for all of us and must be applied on its values and spirit without political considerations,” he concluded.
Story by David Oputah