Peoples Democratic Party Coalition (PDPCO), an umbrella body of the main opposition party in Nigeria, has stated that the demand to seize the international passport of the former Governor of Abia State and current representative of Abia Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Theordore Orji, by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was an aberration when such pronouncement or order was not given by a court of competent jurisdiction.
In a press statement signed by its National Coordinator, Chief Emeka Kalu, and sent to DAILY POST on Friday, the PDPCO posited that the action of the anti graft agency was highly condemnable, expressing dismay that there are deluge of corruption allegations on the table of the EFCC but remained unattended because they had to do with loyalists to the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government.
The PDP Coalition queried why the anti-graft agency had not been able to arrest and prosecute the indicted persons under whose watch over N167bn was diverted and looted in Nigeria Ports Authority, between 2016 and May 2021.
According to the group, “Does it mean persons served and still serving in the government of President Muhammed Buhari are hosts of heavens with no iota of corrupt tendencies in them?
“What of the revelations made by Former CBN Governor,Sanusi Lamidu Sanusi that what Nigeria worked for and saved for 35 years were wiped out in the last five years.
“What has EFCC done to probe these allegations even when several agencies of the government had made shocking revelations to buttress the claims?The persons working under this government in the past 5years to date,are they ghosts that EFCC could not reach them for invitation, interrogation and probing?
“Why does the anti graft agency allow herself to be used as a witch hunting tool to silence,threaten, cow,intimidate and harass party opponents against the standard of popular democracy?”
The PDPCO further stated that the current Nigerian system under the watch of Muhammadu Buhar has lost billions of dollars to misappropriation and no effort has been made by the EFCC to arrest and prosecute the culprits. It frowned at the alleged selected justices exhibited by the anti-corruption commission.
The Coalition reiterated that Orji be allowed to rest as a returnee from medical check up, saying that the federal lawmaker should not be rough handled to ruin his health and liberty.
The political group called on all the PDP governors and stakeholders to stand up against the continuous harassment of opposition party members in the name of fighting corruption.
“The news reaching our media office this evening regarding the arrest of Senator Theodore Orji, a serving Senator of the 9th Assembly and two term governor of Abia State between 2007 to 2015 by the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission is highly uncalled for,wrong and condemnable.
“Given the fact that Senator Orji just came from a Dubai medical check up and the anti graft agency arrested him for failure to submit his international passport to EFCC following allegations of funds misappropriation while in office as Abia State governor,he is entitled to be allowed enough time for rest. Taking into consideration his age bracket, he was not supposed to be denied freedom especially when he is not running away from custody nor trying to abscond from trials,so decorums should be followed in handling him as a respected senior citizen.
“Senator Orji is residing here in Nigeria, he travelled and came back to his fatherland,why all these calculated monitoring against his personal liberty and dignity of human person?
“PDP Coalition in her discretion and commitment is fully armed to the teeth with all available legal apparatus within her disposal to defend Senator Orji to ensure no infringement is meted out to his personality, civil and human Rights by any person, agency no matter how highly placed”.
DAILY POST reported that a former Governor of Abia State, Theodore Orji, was arrested by the EFCC on Thursday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja while trying to board a flight.
Operatives of the anti-graft agency took him straight to their headquarters in Abuja for questioning.