Atiku, PDP demand release of arrested CUPP spokesman Ugochinyere

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Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president, has demanded for the immediate release of Ikenga Ugochinyere, the spokesman of the opposition Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP).

Mr Ugochinyere, according to his legal representatives, was picked up Thursday evening by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives was said to have instituted the arrest despite a court order preventing security agencies from arresting the opposition spokesman.

In a statement on Friday, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the last general election, called for the immediate release of Ugochinyere, saying the country was being governed by law.

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“We are a nation governed by the rule of law and not of the jungle. Tyranny and dictatorship are inimical to a democratic order,” Atiku said.

“I hereby call for the immediate release of the spokesman of CUPP, Barr. Ikenga Ugochinyere,” the former vice president said.

His party, the PDP, also made same demand, alleging that the CUPP spokesperson is being detained under very dehumanizing condition where he is also being tortured.

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“The PDP insists that, without prejudice to the issues between the leadership of the House of Representatives and the CUPP, for which the two parties were before a court, resorting to using the police to arrest and detain the CUPP spokesperson, in defiance of the orders of the court, is completely unacceptable, unlawful and cannot be justified under any guise whatsoever,” a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, partly read Friday.

It advised leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led House of Representatives to respect the sanctity of the judiciary and the provisions of the law by following due process in dealing with issues, particularly those guaranteed by the constitution.

“The PDP therefore calls on the Inspector General of Police to wade into the matter, insulate the police from the political manipulation of the APC leadership, by immediately ordering the release of the CUPP Spokesperson, in keeping with the demands of the tenets of democracy, rule of law and provision of 1999 Constitution,” it added.

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