February 21, 2024

‘Ahmed’ll never join APC’ — PDP supporters protest detention of ex-Kwara gov by EFCC

‘Ahmed’ll never join APC’ — PDP supporters protest detention of ex-Kwara gov by EFCC

By Demola Akinyemi, Ilorin

Scores of aggrieved members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State have protested over the continued detention of former Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed by the Ilorin Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which has entered its third day.

It would be recalled that the former governor, on invitation, visited the commission office in Ilorin on Monday and has since been undergoing intense interrogation till now.

The Chief Press Secretary to the former governor, Alhaji AbdulWahab Oba, who spoke on the development on Tuesday night, confirmed the presence of his principal in the custody of the EFCC and made complaints about the delay in meeting his bail conditions.

According to him, “Yes, he is still with the EFCC, and we are now at a dilemma over the issue because they keep changing the goal post during the match. The case is taking a new dimension which we don’t really understand for now.

“Initially, they said they wanted him to produce two sureties who are federal directors. The sureties came and were asked to provide landed properties in Abuja. We see this as a contradiction.

“The case was initially handled by the EFCC office in Abuja before it was transferred to Ilọrin over the issue of jurisdiction.

“Additionally, he has been denied access to his doctors, medication and direct access to his cook”, Oba said.

He charged the EFCC to follow due process and be seen to be transparent in their handling of the case, as the former governor has never defaulted on all previous invitations extended to him by the commission.

Meanwhile,the Zonal Commander of the commission,Michael Nzekwe flanked by his aides also calmly addressed all the concerns raised by protesters and denied the allegations raised against the commission.

Nzekwe denied allegations by the protesters that it was being used to persecute the former governor,and that it denied him access to see his doctor,his lawyer and eat any food of his choice.

Supporters of the former governor, displayed various placards, with inscriptions reading, “EFCC stop the persecution,” “The Opposition cannot be silenced,” “Gov Ahmed was transparent,” “EFCC don’t instigate political crisis in Kwara state,” “No to illegal detention,” “Respect the rule of law,” “EFCC stop the harassment.”

The supporters, who called the commission all sorts of names, accused the agency of corruption, adding that corruption cannot be prosecuted.

The publicity secretary of the party, Sola Olusegun, who addressed journalists at the scene, accused the EFCC of being used by the ruling APC to persecute the former governor.

“We know their antics, it’s to pressurise the former governor to join APC, and he won’t join their party, no matter what,” he said.

The party spokesman also said that the former governor was being denied access to see his doctor, his lawyer and that he had not eaten for the past three days.

But in the reaction of the Zonal Commander of the commission, Michael Nzekwe, he denied all the allegations of the aggrieved members of the PDP.

“We are set up by the law,so we can not be used as an instrument of persecution against anyone.Everything we are doing is within the arm of law.

“As we speak, an SAN is with him and has always been with him since he came ,we allow him to eat any food of his choice brought to him and his Doctor has been coming here to attend to him. So, all these allegations are not true,” he said.

He further noted that, “Former Governor Ahmed has been served with bail conditions and which he has yet to meet and we are following the rule of the law in keeping him.

“We are wrapping up on our investigations on the issue and once its wrapped, the law will take its course.”