Daukigate: PDP Kicks As EFCC Arrests Metuh | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Daukigate: PDP Kicks As EFCC Arrests Metuh

Posted: Jan 6, 2016 at 9:53 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arrested the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, in connection with the $2.1 billion arms deal scandal. Four members of the anti-graft agency came to Metuh’s Abuja residence in a white unmarked Toyota Hiace bus and took him to the commission’s headquarters.

Metuh arrived the commission’s complex about 9:05a.m. Metuh is being investigated over the N1.4 billion “turnover” traced to the account of a company, Destra Investment Limited, linked to him in the arms contract scam.

A document sighted by New Telegraph indicated that the said turnover allegedly accrued between November 2014 and December 2015. It was also alleged in the document that Metuh was on a monthly “unexplained stipend”, which a source at the anti-graft agency said he would need to offer explanations on. As at 9p.m. yesterday, the operatives were still interrogating Metuh at the Idiagbon House.

A highly placed source, who spoke in confidence, said: “If you have been following the recent trend, it may be safe to conclude that operatives may not conclude the interrogation today.”

The Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed Metuh’s interrogation to New Telegraph. “It is true that Metuh is being investigated by the EFCC, but I do not have further details on the matter,” he said.

Metuh had, on December 15, 2015 said there was plan to implicate him in the arms funds allegedly paid to some politicians by the Office of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

The PDP spokesman had denied having “any contract dealings with the immediate past Federal Government or any of its security apparatus,” but however, admitted that in the course of his duties as the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, former President Goodluck Jonathan gave him an assignment, which he said Jonathan fully funded. Metuh’s Special Assistant, Richard Ihediwa, said the PDP spokesman believes that the Federal Government is desperate and may have finalised plans to silence him because of his role as opposition spokesperson.

“In the last seven months, as opposition spokesperson, I have been hounded, harassed, intimidated and threatened severally. In order to avoid personal and family pressure, I had refrained from bringing them to the public domain,” he stated.

Also, the PDP said Metuh’s arrest was a grand design by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government to silence and decimate the opposition party. In a statement by the National Secretary, Prof. Adewale Oladipo, PDP said Metuh’s arrest did not come to the party as a surprise given series of threats to him by the APC and the Federal Government over the stance of the opposition party on the state of the nation.

“The arrest of Chief Metuh on Tuesday underscores the growing political intolerance in our country and the foisting of a police state which was last Wednesday underscored by the President and Commander-in-Chief himself, Muhammadu Buhari, who defended why a government in a democracy should flout constitutional provision and brazenly disobey court orders,” the party said.

It noted that intelligence report available to the party showed that the arrest was part of a larger script by the government to ensure that PDP’s wings were finally clipped in the governing party’s mission to install a dictatorial oneparty state in the country.

The party decried what it called “the excesses of security agencies under this government, especially the Department of State Services (DSS) and the EFCC, in abridging the human rights of PDP members,” describing it as worrisome and a threat to the nation’s democratic evolution.

“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 Metuh and, if possible, poison him during his detention by the EFCC. “Metuh has, since his arrest about 10a.m., been kept incommunicado, with his lawyers denied access to him. “The PDP declares the arrest of our spokesman as the last straw that may break our democracy.

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 statement added.

The EFCC had quizzed, detained and charged some high profile PDP chieftains to court, including former Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, ex-Minister of State for Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, and the founder of Daar Communications Plc., Chief Raymond Dokpesi in connection with the arms deal.