Wednesday, 2 December 2015

PDP Condemns Dokpesi’s Arrest Days After Disowning Him

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reacted to the recent arrest of Raymond Dokpesi, the party’s national conference committee chairman by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In a statement on Tuesday, December 1, Olisa Metuh, the PDP national publicity secretary, condemned the arrest of the chairman of Daar Communications, the owners of African Independent Television (AIT) and Raypower FM station.

According to Metuh, the pronouncement of guilt on Dokpesi before any fair hearing, betrays the fact that he is a victim of political persecution by the APC government because of his association with the PDP, Premium Times reports.

Metuh also alleged that more notable PDP leaders have similarly been listed for arrest over “unproven allegations”.

He said: “While the PDP is not against the war against corruption, we insist that the crusade must be carried out within the limits of the law and not as a guise to persecute and torture opposition elements in the country.

“Our fear is that with the pronouncement of guilt even without being given the opportunity within his rights as a citizen to state his own side of the story, the President Buhari-led government is sidestepping the laws to ensure that Chief Dokpesi does not get justice in the court, a plot which they want to extend to other PDP leaders.

“The PDP therefore demands an open and public trial of all those arrested so that all issues and charges against them as well as their defence therein would also be in the public domain.

“We demand a proper investigation and lawful prosecution instead of the reprehensible resort to outright political persecution, which can only have a place in a military regime.

“We also note that this development may not be unconnected with the planned onslaught against the media, following its commitment in holding this dictatorial regime accountable since it took office.

“Finally, we call on the international community and rights bodies worldwide to note the growing impunity and gross violation of human rights by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government tailored to decimate the opposition and cow the media in Nigeria,” the party said.

Dokpesi was arrested yesterday, December 1, for allegedly being a party of the arms purchase scandal involving the office of the former national security adviser Sambo Dasuki, and the theft of N2.1billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

His arrest comes just days after apology on behalf of the PDP was countered by the Olisa Metuh, who in an interview with journalists in Abuja said Dokpesi’s statement did not in any way represent the official position of the PDP.

Dokpesi, on Tuesday, November 10, said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) made a mistake by allowing former President Goodluck Jonathan to run for re-election in the last presidential election.

But Dokpesi in a swift response declared that he did not apologise for the alleged misrule of the party contrary to media reports.