The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia). The development came just as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has faulted the arrest of Abaribe, saying that there was no justification for the arrest of its senator.
Though no reason was given for Abaribe’s arrest but the development might not be unconnected with the senator’s failure to produce the leader of banned Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, in court for trial, having stood as surety to Kanu.
An aide of the lawmaker was said to have stated that Abaribe was picked up in Abuja on Friday morning while attending a function at one of five star Hotels in Abuja.
Former Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam was also arrested on Thursday by the DSS without any explanation for his arrest.
But the PDP has demanded the release of Senator Abaribe.
Expressing fear over his safety, the PDP lamented that the Gestapo-style arrest of Abaribe has further confirmed its earlier alarm that the APC-led Federal Government has commenced a total clampdown on the opposition and perceived opponents of President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2019 re-election bid.
The PDP national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, who stated this in a statement made available on Friday, said the clampdown on Senator Abaribe is feared to be in furtherance of the moves to intimidate and emasculate members of the National Assembly who are known for their outspokenness against the constitutional violations and misrule of the APC administration.
He said, “The PDP notes that the Federal Government has given no reasons for the arrest and detention of Senator Abaribe, who has been kept incommunicado without access to his lawyers and associates.
” The party also notes the apprehension of Nigerians following numerous alleged plots by the Federal Government to frame up other lawmakers, including Senate President Bukola Saraki, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremmadu, as well as Senators Dino Melaye and Shehu Sani.
“Nigerians can now see that our dear nation is fast descending into a fascist state where constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech no longer obtains and citizens are marked, arrested and detained on the whims and caprices of those in power”.
The PDP therefore urged the DSS to immediately declare Senator Abaribe’s whereabouts, as well as the charge against him.
According to the opposition party, “the laws of our nation are clear on the process of arrest and prosecution of any citizen and not recourse to clampdown and intimidation.”