Timi Frank, former deputy spokesman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has described the arrest of Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), as a political witch-hunt by the APC.
On Monday, the EFCC had arrested Giwa-Osagie, lawyer to Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), over charges of money laundering.
In a statement on Tuesday, Frank said the anti-graft agency was unabashedly doing the political bidding of the APC and President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said the arrest of Giwa-Osagie a few weeks after Tunde Ayeni, a former chairman of Skye Bank Plc (now Polaris Bank), was picked up and detained, shows that the APC is desperate to starve the opposition of critical funding which is necessary for its campaign.
He called on the international community to list Ibrahim Magu, chairman of the EFCC, among those to be placed on visa ban following his “overt use” of the EFCC to illegally detain key opposition figures in order to dampen their chances in the forthcoming elections.
“Magu cannot claim to be fighting corruption when the only people he finds to be allegedly engaged in fraudulent activities are key members of the opposition. This is a witch-hunt and highly selective,” Frank said.
“Today, the EFCC is clearly an arm of the APC. No thanks to Magu who has officially pledged his support to General Buhari by wearing his re-election campaign brooch on his suit lapel.
“Magu is politically biased and the entire EFCC under his command is working for the re-election of Buhari and all APC candidates in the coming elections. If not, how can Magu claim to be fighting corruption by incessantly arresting opposition figures to the exclusion of members of the Buhari administration with corrupt baggage around their necks?
“How can Magu and Buhari claim to be fighting corruption by neglecting to investigate a N5 Billion NEMA scandal involving Vice President Yemi Osinbajo? Yet they claim to be fighting corruption!
“What can we say about the dollar bribery scandal against the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje and Buhari’s family members and associates who fraudulently acquired Keystone Bank and ETISALAT?”
Frank further claimed that the EFCC chairman cannot pretend to be unaware that Buhari and the APC have been using “fronts and fictitious government contracts to siphon money from established government agencies”.
“A good example is the APC’s Senatorial Candidate for Niger East who was used to print sensitive Electoral materials for INEC. Nigerians know that the money realized from this over bloated contract went directly into APC’s campaign war-chest.” he said.
“It is clear that Magu and the EFCC are not fighting corruption but only helping the APC to fight their political opponents.”
He called for the immediate release of all “political prisoners” being detained by the EFCC and asked Nigerians to resist the “fascist inclination of Buhari and APC”.