The Peoples Democratic Party on Saturday said the continued detention of its spokesman, Chief Olisa Metuh, by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) without charging him to court is illegal.
The party said the development is a clear breach of Metuh’s constitutionally guaranteed liberty and fundamental rights.
The PDP in a statement signed by its National Legal Adviser, Victor Kwon, said the EFCC decision to rely on a “holding charge” purportedly derived from a Magistrate to detain Metuh beyond the statutory period allowed by the law is in total violation of the constitution and extant corresponding rulings by several trial and appellate courts in the country.
The party said, “We draw the attention of all Nigerians and the international community to this illegal clamp-down on the opposition spokesman by the EFCC, using a purported holding charge said to have been derived from a magistrate court.
“Holding Charge which implies ‘arrest before investigation’ instead of ‘investigation before arrest’ is clearly an aberration and abuse of judicial process which has since been declared by several courts as illegal, null and void, and of no effect as it is totally in contradiction with section 35 (1), (4), (5a) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The PDP is particularly worried that Metuh, since his arrest on Tuesday, is being inhumanly kept in an underground cell where he is daily threatened by officials, who we gathered, have been mounting pressure on him to accept guilt of fictitious figures and implicate PDP leaders.
“The public is very much aware that the EFCC chairman has visited the Presidential villa at least twice since Metuh was arrested and detained by the commission, ostensibly to get further directives on the case.”