The Peoples Democratic Party has said the arrest of popular blogger Abubakar Sidiq by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is illegal and not within their rights.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the PDP said the Buhari-led administration is trying to gag the press.
The statement reads, “We are deeply concerned about the arrest and detention of Abubakar Sidiq, a popular blogger by the EFCC for more than 30hrs.
“While he has been granted administrative bail, he is still in custody as a result of the stringent terms thereof.
“Our concern is founded on the following premises: Abubakar Sidiq was arrested after publishing an article in which he claimed the EFCC allocation in #Budget2016 was padded.
“EFCC says he was arrested on charges of cyber stalking. In other words journalism constitutes cyber stalking in their estimation.
“He was arrested in the middle of the night by heavily armed men in the presence of his wife and children.”
“EFCC is a body established by law to investigate and prosecute financial crimes and not “cyber stalking”.
“While we are aware that Abubakar Sidiq is pro-APC and has published a number of false stories about our party, the issue at hand is about the larger picture.
“The Muhammadu Buhari administration is showing that it has no respect for the constitutional rights and freedoms of the Nigerian people.
“A free press is the fourth pillar of any democracy and we lend our voices to calls for respect of the freedom of the press and the rule of law.
“If Abubakar Sidiq has published any falsehood, we urge the Muhammadu Buhari-led FG to file an action for defamation. Arresting and detaining journalists, bloggers, opinion shapers and influencers is definitely not the way to go.
“So we indeed join our voices to the calls for the EFCC to #FreeAbuSidiq.”
Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.