News Politics

Ikenga Ugochinyere’s Life In Danger, CNPP Cries Out, Threatens to Lockdown National Assembly

…Says Police Should Be Held Responsible if Ikenga Tests Positive for COVID-19

….Why CNPP Wants IGP to Resign

By JAMES EZEMA

Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), the umbrella body of all registered political parties and political association in Nigeria, has raised the alarm over the possible plot to infect the opposition Spokesman, Barr. Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere with Coronavirus in detention.

Taking a swipe at the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila for misleading the House of Reps and instigating the arrest and subsequent incarceration of Nigeria’s opposition spokesman, the CNPP warned that if President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) fail to call the Speaker to order, the national Assembly will be locked down.

Mr. Ikenga was arrested by operatives of the Nigeria Police Force on Thursday evening and is yet to be charged for any offence.

Addressing a world press conference on Sunday, the CNPP Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu reiterated its call for immediate release of Mr. Ikenga, urging the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu to step aside if he cannot resist the forces that misled him to order Ugochinyere’s arrest.

The CNPP noted that “In view of the facts before us, we reiterate our demand for immediate release of Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere unconditionally. In the first place, there is a court order restraining the police from arresting him, with all processes served on the police authorities.

“We call on the Inspector General of Police to immediately obey the order of the court or step aside. For us, it is better to resign than to allow yourself to be misled by anti-democratic forces in the House of Reps.

“More so, we are aware that the current Inspector General of Police has worked hard in redeeming the image of the police, but the current disobedience to a clear court order will definitely erase all his positive achievements so far.

“We also call on President Muhammadu Buhari to use his remaining three years in office to change the narrative of oppression against his government and order all security agencies to henceforth obey all court orders in the land.

“We will not hesitated to mobilise all pro-democracy forces and civil society groups for a lockdown of the National Assembly if the Speaker of the House of Representatives is not immediately called to order by Mr. President and the APC.

“The speaker cannot be a judge in his own case; he cannot be a lawmaker, a law enforcement authority and interpreter of the law all at the same time in a country where there is separation of powers.

“In this matter, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila has clearly demonstrated how undemocratic and manipulative his leadership can be in the next three years” the CNPP demanded.

The full text of the press conference reads: 

As most Nigerians are very much aware, last week the Nigerian Police took into custody the spokesperson of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), Barrister Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere and he has remained in custody without being charged to court for any offence.

The leader of his legal team, Barrister Chibuzor Ezike, had said in media reports we monitored that Ikenga Ugochinyere was arrested on the instigation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

He explained that the legal team was notified of the arrest of their client by men of the Nigeria Police Force from the Force Headquarters at about 5:30 pm on Thursday evening.

His arrest came after Speaker Gbajabiamila had misdirected the House of Representatives to pass a resolution against Mr Ikenga, and directing the Police and the State Security Services (SSS) to arrest him.

However, the said resolution was passed after the June 3, 2020 order of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, which barred the Police, the SSS and all other security agencies, in clear terms, not to give effect to the resolutions and acts of the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila and further restrained the security agencies from arresting or detaining Mr Ikenga in any manner.

But the Police based on the instigation of Speaker Gbajabiamila arrested the opposition parties’ spokesman and have kept him in custody contrary to a clear court order, even when the injunction order of the Court and all processes in the matter have been served on the Police including the hearing notice, notifying that the matter has been adjourned for definite hearing on 30th June 2020.

OUR FINDINGS

As the umbrella body of all registered political parties and political associations in Nigeria, the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) on reading the reports in the newspapers, got worried that the move was not a mere police arrest for an offence.

We are deeply worried that there seems to be a well thought out plan to return the country back to the dark days of flagrant disregard for the rule of law ahead of the 2023 general election.

We also see in the works a clear mission to get the voice of opposition stifled at all cost. The CNPP is ready to ensure that this does not happen.

We also found that there is a well thought out plan by anti-opposition elements to keep Barrister Ikenga in perpetual detention in police custody. This became evident at the weekend when the police came up with an administrative bail option, demanding as part of the bail terms, a Permanent Secretary, who owns a landed property in the Federal capital Territory (FCT).

How on earth can an opposition spokesman get a Permanent Secretary, who was appointed by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) government, to sign a bail bond?

Is it not even more of an impossible task when the instigator of the arrest of Mr. Ikenga, the Speaker of the House of Reps, is serving the APC interest in the National Assembly? This is a calculated attempt to keep Ikenga in custody as long as possible.

Our major fears at the moment is that Mr. Ikenga may not come out of police detention alive. Our findings show that not only that Mr. Ikenga is kept in a crowded cell of about 40 people, people arrested for contravening the COVID-19 protocols and curfew have continued to be added to the cell. This may be part of a plot to ensure that Mr. Ikenga does not leave the police custody alive.

It is surprising that at a time the Police authorities are expected to decongest detention facilities nationwide as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the contrary is the case.

The CNPP therefore alert all Nigerians of good conscience that Ugochinyere’s life is currently in danger and the police authorities should be held responsible if he tests positive for COVID-19 after 14 days of his release.

OUR DEMANDS

In view of the facts before us, we reiterate our demand for immediate release of Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere unconditionally. In the first place, there is a court order restraining the police from arresting him, with all processes served on the police authorities.

We call on the Inspector General of Police to immediately obey the order of the court or step aside. For us, it is better to resign than to allow yourself to be misled by anti-democratic forces in the House of Reps.

More so, we are aware that the current Inspector General of Police has worked hard in redeeming the image of the police, but the current disobedience to a clear court order will definitely erase all his positive achievements so far.

We also call on President Muhammadu Buhari to use his remaining three years in office to change the narrative of oppression against his government and order all security agencies to henceforth obey all court orders in the land.

We will not hesitated to mobilise all pro-democracy forces and civil society groups for a lockdown of the National Assembly if the Speaker of the House of Representatives is not immediately called to order by Mr. President and the APC.

The speaker cannot be a judge in his own case; he cannot be a lawmaker, a law enforcement authority and interpreter of the law all at the same time in a country where there is separation of powers.

In this matter, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila has clearly demonstrated how undemocratic and manipulative his leadership can be in the next three years.

Thank you for your attention.

 

Signed:
CNPP Secretary General,
Chief Willy Ezugwu.
08052506666

 

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