By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA—The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has demanded the immediate and unconditional release of one of its chieftains, Doyin Okupe, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The party described Okupe’s arrest and detention as an act of intimidation by the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration in what it termed its bid to browbeat the opposition and dissenting voices ahead of the 2019 general election.
In a statement issued Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said Okupe’s arrest “is part of the grand plot to escalate the clampdown on opposition leaders, in the attempt to subjugate them as the elections draw nearer, a scheme the PDP had since alerted the nation about.”
It called on Nigerians to note that the EFCC was arrested Dr. Okupe “with fabricated charges, just because of his criticisms of the misrule of the Buhari administration, particularly, his last Wednesday’s call on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to declare President Buhari as not validly nominated as a presidential candidate.”
The statement reads: “Since this comment, Dr. Okupe has been threatened, harassed and his home raided by officials of the EFCC last Saturday over claims of cyberstalking, 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.’’