#FreeAbusidiq: ‘You Have No Right To Arrest A Blogger’ – APC Youths...

#FreeAbusidiq: ‘You Have No Right To Arrest A Blogger’ – APC Youths Tell EFCC

By Chidi Arua | News Reporter on August 9, 2016
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Zenith Bank Fayose Ikoyi DSS governor Ibrahim Magu EFCC Diezani Alison-Maduekwe
Ibrahim Magu, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

The All Progressives Congress Youth Forum, APYF, on Monday, August 8, 2016, accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, of abusing its powers under the law by sending its operatives to arrest a blogger, Mr. Abubakar Sidiq Usman, owner of the political blog,  Abusidiq.

A statement released by the EFCC earlier on Monday, August 8, 2016 claimed that Abusidiq was arrested and questioned on charges of cyberstalking, an offence that allegedly contravene the Cybercrime Act.

The laws of Nigeria place such crimes under the Nigeria Police Force and not the EFCC. The anti-graft commission is clearly abusing its powers in this case.

Abubakar Sidiqu Usman
Abubakar Sidiqu Usman

In a statement signed by Olu Onemola, the national public relations officer of the Forum, the APYF condemned the filing of spurious charges against Abusidiq, stating that if the EFCC’s actions was left unchecked, it could dent the institutional credibility of the financial watchdog and the perception of the adherence to the rule of law of the entire President Muhammadu Buhari government.

The APYF further stated that it would be putting to use all the protections and legal recourses that are available to citizens in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“We will be petitioning the attorney general of the federation to call the EFCC and its chairman, Ibrahim Magu to order,” the APYF said.

“We will [also] be filing a petition with the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges to express our unease on the abuse of institutional powers by one of Nigeria’s leading institutions.”

The APYF also stated that it would be filing a freedom of speech fundamental rights enforcement under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria against the EFCC and its acting chairman, on whose orders the operatives acted.

The forum further called for the immediate and unconditional release of Abusidiq, stating that it intended to see the government fulfil its mandate to fight corruption and impunity, hence, it would be holding the government accountable for all its actions.

Read the Full Statement Below:

CALLING THE EFCC TO ORDER: STATEMENT BY THE APYF ON THE ARREST OF ABUSIDIQ

On Monday, August 8th, 2016, one of the founding members of the All Progressives Congress Youth Forum (APYF), Mr. Abubakar Sidiq Usman (Abusidiq), the founder and owner of the blog abusidiqu.com was picked up from his home by armed operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), purportedly under the orders of the Acting Chairman of the Commission, Ibrahim Magu.

A statement released by the Commission claims that Abusidiq was arrested and questioned on offences that allegedly contravene the Cyber Crime Act.

The APYF wishes to condemn in the strongest possible terms the arrest and filing of spurious charges against Abusidiq, by an agency that has obviously overstepped its jurisdiction and crossed beyond the purview of its responsibilities which are to combat financial and economic crimes.

From the EFCC establishment act, “The Commission is empowered to prevent, investigate, prosecute and penalise economic and financial crimes and is charged with the responsibility of enforcing the provisions of other laws and regulations relating to economic and financial crimes.”

From the aforementioned, the APYF wishes to state in the clearest possible terms that the EFCC lacks the powers to put forward such charges against Abusidiq on the grounds of cyberstalking as it is not within their mandate to do so.

As an organisation that believes firmly in the rule of law, moving forward the APYF will be utilising all the protections and legal recourses that are available to citizens in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

  1. We will be petitioning the Attorney General of the Federation to call the EFCC and its Chairman to order – as these allegations if left unchecked can dent the institutional credibility of the Commission in particular, and the perception of the adherence to the rule of law of the entire government.
  1. We will be filing a petition with the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges to express our unease on the abuse of institutional powers by one of Nigeria’s leading institutions in the fight against corruption, and to raise questions on the suitability of the Acting Chairman to serve in a confirmed capacity.
  1. We will be filing a freedom of speech fundamental rights enforcement under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria against the EFCC and its Acting Chairman — on whose orders the armed operatives acted.

In this regard, the APYF calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Abusidiq, and wishes to reiterate our commitment to seeing this government fulfil its mandate to fight corruption and impunity. Hence, we intend to do so by holding the government accountable for all its actions. Now, and always.

Signed:

Olu Wole Onemola

APYF National PRO

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