The Coalition of United Political Parties has berated the Nigerian Government over the arrest of its spokesperson, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, on Thursday.
Addressing journalists on Friday, head of CUPP Contact and Mobilisation and National Chairman of Action Alliance Party, Kenneth Udeze, demanded that Ugochinyere be released immediately and unconditionally.
He said, "The Nigeria Police must learn to obey the direct order of the court. That is how democracy is practiced. Rule of law and constitutional democracy demand that the court must be obeyed by every person or authority which is before it."
The CUPP alleged that Ugochinyere's arrest was instigated by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, over a matter that is in court and for which the court had directly and in clear terms restrained the police from arresting or detaining him in any manner.
He was arrested at the INEC headquarters while attending a meeting in preparation for his party’s primaries for the Edo and Ondo governorship elections.
"It is a shame that in Femi Gbajabiamila’s democracy, the orders of court should not be obeyed and nobody should question his supreme authority. Otherwise how would Mr Gbajabiamila who was represented in court on Wednesday June 17, 2020 in the same suit where the court had nullified the resolution of the House and his actions still go in defiance of the court to author a petition to the police?
"The police have been served with the order of the court and all other processes in the matter and indeed yesterday before the arrest, the bailiff of the court had also served another hearing notice on the police notifying them of the next adjourned date which is 30th June, 2020. The DG DSS has filed his processes and appeared in court but the Inspector-General Police has refused to file anything or appear in court. We do not want to believe that he is being teleguided," CUPP said.
The coalition further said that the harassment of Ugochinyere was manifesting following his stance against the controversial sponsorship of the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill, adding that it must stop.
The CUPP, however, called on the leadership of All Progressives Congress to call Gbajabiamila to order, adding, "The leadership of APC should call him to order now or the membership of the House should immediately take action and save the House further battering of its image by impeaching Mr Gbajabiamila.
It added, "Despite the nullification of the proceedings of the ad hoc committee and the resolutions of the House by the FCT High Court, the Speaker continued to misdirect the House to the extent of intimidating Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court Abuja who has now recused himself from the case based on the verbal assault from Mr Gbajabiamila’s goons.
"It is the demand of the CUPP that Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere be released immediately and unconditionally. The Nigeria Police must learn to obey the direct order of the court. That is how democracy is practiced. Rule of law and constitutional democracy demand that the court must be obeyed by every person or authority which is before it."