15 June 2018

Nigeria: Secondus Decries Alleged EFCC Harassment of Contractors in PDP-Controlled States

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has decried what it called "unconcealed bias" of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in its execution of anti-corruption war in the country.

The party's National Chairman, Mr Uche Secondus, made the observation in a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Ike Abonyi, on Thursday.

Mr Secondus said that the recent arrest and harassment of contractors handling projects in only PDP states had clearly exposed EFCC as doing the bidding of the ruling party ahead of 2019.

He claimed that the agency had deployed its operatives to intimidate and harass contractors handling projects in some PDP-controlled states with the motive of frustrating the project goals.

According to him, the projects have visibly placed the states far ahead of their colleagues in the ruling party's states.

The chairman added that EFCC had refused to heed the advisories from well-meaning Nigerians and international watchers, including the recent one from British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright.

He recalled that the envoy had urged them not to take sides with any political party ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Mr Secondus observed that rather than listen to such counsel, the commission was becoming a willing tool to assist the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the 2019 elections.

"Rather than encourage states which are seriously involved in the delivery of democracy dividends to their people, the ruling APC has been conniving with relevant agencies to harass contractors ostensibly to frustrate and slow them down.

"Contractors in Taraba and Rivers as well as other PDP states are being harassed by EFCC operatives and are being arm-twisted to implicate PDP leaders.

"Intelligence report is available to the party that the ruling party and the federal government have resolved to ensure that PDP states are permanently put on their toes so as not to get their bearing ahead of 2019."

But, he said that it would be clear to the world and discerning minds that PDP governors were executing projects that touched the lives of their people.

"In some states like Taraba where projects have been halted as a result of EFCC meddlesomeness, the unemployment situation has worsened."

EFCC operatives used to illustrate the story.

The PDP boss reiterated the position of the party that corruption should be confronted frontally in the country's system.

He stated that meaningful result may not be achieved in an atmosphere of bias and double standards.

Mr Secondus charged governors of PDP-controlled states to remain undaunted and refuse to be intimidated in the service of their people.

He called on the international community to note the situation where anti-graft agencies were usurping the oversight functions of the states' Houses of Assembly.

Mr Secondus statement comes a day after the EFCC reiterated its stance that it was apolitical.

The anti-graft agency made reference to the recent conviction and trial of politicians across party divides to buttress its point.

Nigeria

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