A group, Concerned Nigerians, has criticised the police over the arrest of the Chairman of the HEDA Resource Center, Olanrewaju Suraju, for allegedly sharing the media report on the $1 billion Malabu oil deal involving a former Attorney-General of the Federation, and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke.
The CG stated on Saturday in a letter to the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, that it is saddened that “while the principal actors in the Malabu corruption deal of over $1.1billion are free and roaming the streets, a whistleblower has spent two days in police custody.”
The CG Convener, Deji Adeyanju, therefore urged the IG to deal with the civil society community fairly.
Adeyanju said, “As the new head of the police force, your first assignment should not be to target the civil society community in the country. In closing, we leave you with the great Martin Luther King. The time is always right to do the right thing.”
On Wednesday, the IGP Monitoring Unit had detained Suraju at the Force headquarters, Abuja, where he was interrogated for several hours for sharing the report which was published by online newspapers, Premium Times and SaharaReporters, which indicted the Attorney General, on his (Suraju’s) social media platforms.
It was gathered that Suraju was invited following a petition written against him by Adoke, who accused him of publicising the media report.
It was also learnt that the police had invited all board members of trustees of the organisation with their bank account numbers and address of the organisation.
Suraju, who spoke to SaharaReporters shortly after his release, had said Adoke was using the police to intimidate and harass the organisation, which initially petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Italian police of forgery behind the email which JP Morgan in the United Kingdom produced.
“They used the former Inspector General of Police to get the petition sent to IGP Monitoring Unit, which then invited me two weeks ago. I came and he (Adoke) was not around. I came again and he was not around. I was asked to come again last Wednesday. I came but he was not there and his lawyer, Kanu Agabi, who wrote the petition, was not there also.
“There was a lawyer who claimed to be his friend but he never introduced himself to us. He uses the influence with former IGP to get the petition assigned and then telling the police what should be done.
“So they moved from the case of forgery which we dismantled with evidence to why did I share the report published by Premium Times and SaharaReporters? They are now asking for the BOT members, address and bank account number of the organisation before I was granted bail with a surety,” he had said.