Majority Leader in the Edo State House of Assembly, Philip Shaibu, has accused the Peoples Democratic Party-led federal government of witch-hunting lawmakers of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the state. The Police, on Thursday, arrested Shaibu and the Assembly’s Speaker, Uyi Igbe, on suspicion that they were masterminds in the attack on a suspended PDP lawmaker Abdulrazak Momoh. Suspended last July by the APC dominated Assembly, Momoh was reported to have ignored a police warning not to make a forced entry into the Assembly, where he was attacked by suspected thugs.
He was beaten to a pulp, left for dead by his attackers, and currently admitted to the Accident and Emergency Ward of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.
Although they visited the police freely, as Shaiub said, they were later detained for being involved in the incident.
“We came on our own volition but they have kept us here for over three hours for a matter we knew nothing about. You could see the intimidation,” he said.
Shaiub added that “When the PDP lawmakers, including Momoh, forcefully broke into the assembly complex, the police did not invite them let alone arrest them.
“All the court orders that were issued against them were not obeyed. The police did not do anything to enforce the orders. But you can see we have been detained here since for an issue we know nothing about.”
Aside, he said they are still to visit the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on invite next Monday.
Shaiub continued: “The EFCC also invited us to Abuja on Monday. But Nigeria is currently being embarrassed in South Africa for money laundering perpetrated by the Federal Government, and the EFCC has not done anything. This is an attempt to intimidate and eliminate all (Governor Adams) Oshiomhole’s loyalists before the next elections.
“The Federal Government must be careful. The EFCC is not arresting those people who stole our money but they are inviting us when we don’t award contracts. It is a plan to use federal might. The President (Dr. Goodluck Jonathan) should talk to his people because we cannot be intimidated.”
The PDP, last Wednesday, accused the detainees as being responsible for the assault on the lawmaker. Its Edo Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, said so.
Echoing its lawmakers, Edo APC Publicity Secretary, Godwin Erhahon, said “We are aware of the plots by the PDP to arrest, maim, and eliminate those perceived to be loyalists of Governor Oshiomhole. Erhahon stated that “The lawmaker who was beaten went there with thugs and it has nothing to do with our lawmakers. Why are they being arrested by the police?
The Edo State police commissioner was not available to comment for the story before press time.