The People’s Democratic Party, PDP has drawn the attention of the international community into what it perceived as the muzzling and intimidation of opposition by the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress, APC.
Citing various instances where the Administration has suspended and subverted the law in targeting the opposition party and using the anti corruption agency, The Economic And Financial Crimes Commision, EFCC to suspended the statutory State Accounts of three PDP states, Rivers, Benue and Akwa Ibom, a situation legal experts say the Commision lacks the power to suspend.
Perhaps, drawing inference from the President’s speech at the just concluded 59th Nigeria Bar Association General Conference, where the President stated that the rule of law should be subject to the supremacy of National interest and security , one could begin to grasp the total disregard to law and due process in some security agencies and parastals in the APC administration.
The PDP in a letter signed by its National Chairman, Uche Secondus and petitioned to British Prime Minister, Theresa May and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, both of whom just visited Nigeria, highlighted instances of gross breach to the rule of law by the Buhari-led Government.
Part of the letter read: “The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, under this administration, has metamorphosed into a draconian agency, showing scant regard for the rule of law and respect for human rights. The commission has turned the process of investigation into a media event to embarrass and tarnish the image of key opposition figures and sub-national governments of the federation perceived to be averse to the whims and electoral interest of the ruling party.
“For instance, in flagrant disregard of the law, the EFCC suspended the operation of statutory bank accounts belonging to PDP-controlled State Governments of Akwa lbom, Benue and Rivers states. “It might interest you to know that a clear reading of today’s political reality in our country shows a resolute desire by majority of Nigerians to vote out the Buhari administration in 2019, leading to the mass rallying on the platform of our party as the major opposition party; hence the desperate resort by government to muzzle and emasculate opposition in Nigeria ahead of the election. This includes the use of the EFCC to harass and attempt to force aspirants, particularly Presidential aspirants out of the race and reduce their capacity to raise funds through unending investigations and harassment of (potential) donors. “Contrary to the anti-corruption promises made to the Nigerian people, associates of the President and his party, the APC, who have been accused and even indicted of corruption, are walking the streets free while opposition members are hounded. “The EFCC has lost so much focus that when they are not chasing the President’s opponents; they are shaking down legitimate businessmen like a mafia group. The Acting Chairman of the EFCC, who has not been confirmed by the National Assembly (a requirement of the law), goes about wearing a pinup of the President’s re-election campaign, as if he is a volunteer in the President’s campaign. While the PDP is not against any genuine effort against corruption, we totally reject government underhand method of hiding under a phony anti-corruption fight to unleash or attempt to decapitate the opposition ahead of the elections.”