The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to immediately release its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh.
This is contained in a statement signed by the PDP National Legal Adviser, Mr Victor Kwon on Saturday in Abuja.
The statement alleged that since Metuh was arrested on Tuesday he had been kept in cell where he was daily threatened by officials of the agency.
The party asked the EFCC to respect the law and immediately release Metuh or charge him to court in line with the provisions of the laws if it has a case against him.
According to the statement, the EFCC officials had since been mounting pressure on him to accept guilt of fictitious figures and implicate PDP leaders.
``The PDP strongly cautions against the avoidable tension and looming political crisis over the continuous clamp-down on our leaders and particularly, the continued incarceration of our spokesperson.
“Our teeming members across the country have so far exercised reasonable restrain, but we caution that there is a limit to what they can stomach in the face of this brazen persecution of our spokesman,’’ the statement said
The statement said that the continued detention of Metuh was in clear breach of his constitutionally guaranteed liberty and fundamental human rights.
It said that relying on a purported ‘holding charge’ derived from a Magistrate to detain Metuh beyond the statutory period allowed by the law was in total violation of the constitution.
It added that the detention was in total violation of extant corresponding rulings by several trial and appellate courts in the country.
“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 implies ‘arrest before investigation’ instead of ‘investigation before arrest.
``This 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 statement said.