Nigerians residing in Canada under the aegies of ICCA/Umunna, on Saturday condemned the arrest of the Senator representing Abia South and Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy, Enyinnaya Abaribe, by agents of the Department for State Services, DSS.
They held that the arrest of Abaribe was “calculated attempt to silence him from exposing illegal insertions, fraudulent and corrupt acts the Presidency may have perpetuated in the 2018 Budget” signed into law on Wednesday.
A statement by President of the Igbo Canadian Community Association, Chief Ugochukwu Okoro, said “We find the arrest of our senator few hours after he exposed an insertion of an illegal addition if N30billion into the budget of the power sector questionable, undemocratic and a criminal attempt to cover up the monumental corrupt acts perpetuated by the Presidency in the 2018 budget appropriations.”
Okoro further stated that “it is not a hidden fact that Sen. Abaribe has constantly been making earth quaking revelations on the magnitude of corruption going on within the Presidency especially on budget padding, so using the DSS to silence him was activated obviously.
“It is very worrisome that President Buhari who came into power on a message of fighting corruptions will be condoling unwarranted attacks of persons who try as much to expose corrupt practices.
“This tendency, which has been the modus operandi of the Buhari government, to use state agencies to intimidate persons he feels are being critical of his government makes a charade of the Whistleblowing Policy of the government. The President ought to look deep within his kitchen cabinet, identify and adequately prosecute those within his ranks found culpable.
“It is also disheartening and immoral that the DSS has not given reasons why Sen. Abaribe was arrested. We raise this concern because we are aware of the order by Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court Abuja that Sen. Abaribe should produce our son and leader of the (Indigenous People of Biafra), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, in court on June 26, 2018 as one of his sureties, why then will the Federal Government arrest him before the court date?” Okoro asked.
The ICCA/Umunna called for an immediate and unconditional release of Abaribe and stated that in the coming days, they will unveil the plans the association has on demanding from the Federal Government the whereabouts of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
Continuing, “This week we received the report from the International Society for Civil Liberties (Intersociety) on the list of names of Igbo sons and daughters massacred by the Nigerian Army during the infamous Operation Python Dance exercise in 2017 and we will be starting processes to make sure that the FG and all the state governments in the South-East open up a Panel of Enquiry on the issue.
“We will be communicating with the governors of the five Igbo states on this and also amplify pressure both within and outside the country on our demand for the Federal Government to produce Mazi Nnamdi Kanu,” Okoro said.