Group kicks as EFCC detains Zamfara APC ‘governorship candidate’

Acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu
Acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is being used by influential politicians to influence the outcome of the 2019 governorship election in Zamfara State, a civil society organisation has alleged.

The Zamfara Unity Forum said it had information that Daudu Lawal, the ‘consensus governorship candidate’ of the All Progressives Congress, has been arrested and detained by the EFCC for over a week ‘as part of the grand plan to influence the election’.

Governor Abdulaziz Yari has been unable to get his Commissioner of Finance, Mukhtar Idris, to be APC’s candidate.

The Independent National Electoral Commission insists it will not accept list of candidates from Zamfara APC, saying the party failed to comply with the laws in the conduct of its primaries.

“It is unfortunate that the EFCC will allow itself to be used to influence the outcome of the Zamfara Governorship election with the arrest of Mallam Lawal for reasons nobody has been told up till now,” Usman Bungudu, Convener, Zamfara Unity Forum, said in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES Friday.

“His friends and associates have reported that all efforts to reach him have proved abortive, meaning he is being kept incommunicado. How can EFCC keep someone for a week without giving information to his family.

“Information reaching us now suggests that the EFCC is planning to resurrect charges that had been dispensed with years ago, just in time to pressurise him to drop out of the governorship race in favour of the anointed candidate or somebody else. This is definitely a threat to this democracy. Institutions of state, such as EFCC, should never allow themselves to be used to further the political interests of certain sections.”

The group called on President Muhammadu Buhari to call the EFCC to order so that the credibility of the 2019 general election is not called to question.

“Today former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, is being respected both locally and internationally because he is believed to have allowed credible elections to hold in 2015. If President Buhari does not call EFCC to order, as we are seeing in Zamfara State, then his legacy will be questioned and this will hunt him,” Mr Bungudu said.

When contacted, the acting spokesperson for the EFCC, Tony Orilade, confirmed that Mr Lawal was being detained by his commission. He said the politician was being investigated for alleged fraud.

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