*As Group Kicks Against Buhari’s Order to Arrest Dasuki
Former Sokoto State governor, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, has stated President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government cannot frighten him with invasion of his Abuja residence, using the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), describing the development as ‘political intimidation and persecution’.
Bafarawa, who escaped arrest on Thursday, spoke through his media aide, Malam Yusuf Dingyadi, who disclosed that his principal’s ordeal was on the account of his closeness to former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
“No amount of intimidation or persecution by any of the federal government security agencies can stop former governor Bafarawa from his resolve to support and sympathise with any person he wishes to align with,” Dingyadi to Daily Trust.
“If EFCC has anything against Bafarawa let them present it to the court of law instead of becoming a tool of victimisation in order to deter him from his constitutional role of free association and expression”, he added.
EFCC operatives had on Thursday stormed Bafarawa’s Abuja home and sought to know the whereabouts of the former governor.
However, when informed that he was not in, the operatives, apparently thinking Bafarawa was in, broke into the house and searched it.
The federal government has been tightening noose around friends and associates of Dasuki.
Bafarawa, it would be recalled accompanied Dasuki to court when his trial began.
Similarly, Boni Haruna, former Adamwa State Governor was arrested by the DSS on November 3, same day he stood as surety for Dasuki.
Meanwhile, a pro-democracy and human rights group, Coalition Against Injustice (CAI) has faulted the siege on the residence of the former governor of Sokoto State, Bafarawa by the operatives of the Department of Security Servise (DSS).
It also condemned the Presidency’s arrest order on the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), describing the actions as, “the return of dark days in Nigeria.”
In a statement jointly signed by its National Coordinator and National Secretary respectively, Messrs Isa Tijjani and Yerima Shetima, the group viewed the two developments as “crass exhibition of dictatorial tendencies and an attempt to return Nigeria to the dark days of the era of Military dictatorship exemplified by the statement emanating from the Presidency directing the arrest of Col Sambo Dasuki rtd and others by the President.”
According to the statement, no one is sympathetic, backing or shielding those that committed crimes against the nation, but it is worrisome to note that, “such a statement from the President not only smacks element of vindictiveness but already comprises the case even before commencement.”
While wondering whether the Presidency has now assumed the responsibility of arresting people, and thereby usurping the duties of agencies like the ICPC, EFCC and the Police, whose responsibility is to arrest and prosecute offenders,” it maintained that, “certainly a court of law and the Presidency cannot arraign anybody.”
Querying whether those people in question could get a fair trial, CAI argued that “the statement from the President has foreclosed that, noting that, “events emanating from President Muhammadu Buhari’s actions have clearly shown that he belongs to himself alone and not to everybody according to his inauguration promise.”
The group also expressed shock over the reported forceful invasion and ransacking of Bafarawa’s residence by the DSS, suspecting that, “the intention was to snatch his passport and stop him from further travelling outside the country.
“Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa is under a valid subsisting bail from a court of law,” suspecting that, Bafarawa’s offence was likely to be his audacity to escort Dasuki to court?
“In the face of the foregoing, we want to be categorical in saying that we will escort Dasuki to court any day he is charged, we will do so to the logical conclusion of the case.
We hasten to remind President Buhari, his government and all his state apparatus that what people gave him were their votes and not their liberty.”, the group noted.
This is even as former President Goodluck Jonathan has denied ever awarding any contract for arms purchase in the range of $2 billion at any time while in office.
A presidential arms procurement probe panel had in it’s interim report indicted Dasuki over a $2 billion failed arms deal, which the former NSA denied.
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