A leading pro-democracy and non-governmental organization – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has condemned the sudden intensified harassment, arrests, detention and the media persecution of family members of the leading opposition presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
HURIWA condemned the EFCC for looking the other way whilst the national leader of All Progressives Congress Bola Ahmed Tinubu Was reportedly seen telling the media that he could carry his cash anyhow he wants it and give them to whomsoever he wants just as the Rights group wondered how the EFCC did not arrest the two bullion vans that allegedly conveyed huge cash hauls to the Lagos home of Ahed Bola Tinubu. The Rights group further carpeted EFCC for refusing to stop the airlifting of huge cash reportedly to Kwara state just before the Presidential and National Assembly’s Elections which was widely reported by credible media channels.
The Rights group also carpeted the Lagos based lawyer Mr. Olisa Agbakaoba for waging a relentless media campaign against the decision of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to challenge his alleged rigging in the last presidential poll in the court of law. “Olisa Agbakaoba is an annoying interloper and a busy body who should just shut up and do other things than becoming actively engaged in what appeared like commercial media interventions to dissuade Atiku Abubakar from going to court to retrieve his alleged stolen mandate”.
HURIWA wondered why such a high profile lawyer would be at the fore front of those deploying media publications to demonize the opposition politician only because he has decided to seek redress in the court of competent jurisdiction which is allowed constitutionally.
Besides, HURIWA condemns the motley of hired goons including commercial clerics like ‘reverend father’ Ejike Mbaka and some amorphous ethno – many religious contraptions who may have been hired by president Muhammadu Buhari or his associates to demonize and criminalize the lawful decision of Atiku Abubakar to challenge his reported electoral defeat in court.
The Rights group specifically asked the international community who were deceived into hastily and erroneously endorsed the controversial outcomes of the violent 2019 presidential polls that led to the killings of 50 Nigerians and the violent rape of even electoral officials, to demand that Nigerian government stopped deploying the politically tainted anti-graft body to witch-hunt the opposition leader.
HURIWA stated that for nearly a year, the acting chairman of EFCC Alhaji Ibrahim Mustapha Magu had demonstrated that he is politically affiliated to the man who gave him the job of a life time when he publicly wore and displayed the campaign Shirt’s badge of Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) which the media captured in pictures during the public unveiling by Buhari of the multibillion mega office complex of EFCC in Abuja.
“We called for the removal of Magu who is more or less a card carrying member of APC or a die-hard sympathizer or supporter of the then presidential candidate and incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari, but the National Assembly that could have chased him out was destabilized by the presidency which hired some senators to stage internal mutiny and attempts to unseat the leadership including the armed invasions and robbing of the Senate mace and escaping through the Presidential villa’s gate.”
“The renewed attack of the EFCC targeting lawyers, family members or political associates of Atiku to blackmail him into withdrawing his threat to go to court to challenge the results of the presidential poll is illegal, unconstitutional, despicable, reprehensible and a desperate attempt to use the means of force and blackmail over a political opponent. This is absolutely condemned.”
“We hereby call on European Union, the prime minister of Britain and the president of the United States of America to ask the president to stop using EFCC and security forces to intimidate, harass, and brutalize family members and political associates of the PDP’s presidential candidate and erstwhile Vice President Atiku Abubakar.”
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate in the just-concluded presidential election, Atiku Abubakar had reportedly reacted to the arrest of his son-in-law and family’s financial adviser, Babalele Abdullahi.
The Economic Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had on Saturday arrested Abdullahi.
Abdullahi is a son-in-law and Finance Director of companies owned by Abubakar.
Reacting to the arrest, Abubakar said his family and associates were paying the price of supporting him.
In a tweet, the former Vice President urged those allegedly persecuting his family members and associates to remember that government was meant to pursue peace and justice.
“My son in law and lawyer have been detained, one for 3 weeks and the other recently.
“They are paying the price for supporting me. I urge those now persecuting them to remember that a government’s mandate is to pursue peace and justice for all, and not just those who support them,” he tweeted.