A group under the aegis of Nkporo Political Stakeholders Forum and the All Progressives Congress members in Nkporo, Abia State have condemned the arrest of Hon Iro Ojisi Sunday by the police following a petition from the Personal Assistant to the Deputy Governor of the state, David Iro.
Hon Ojisi was arrested on Thursday evening around 7:00p.m and by Friday afternoon, arrangements had been completed and perfected to arraign him in an Umuahia Magistrate Court for alleged criminal offence of forgery in less than 24 hours after his arrest.
In a statement, the group described the arrest and the detention of Hon Ojisi as a descent to barbarism and witch-hunt in a brazen attempt to sway the course of justice and rule of law in a case he (Ojisi) earlier filed against the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Hon Ojisi had filed the suit against INEC, joining the Resident Electoral Commission, REC Abia and the Electoral Officer, Ohafia LGA as defendants, at Federal High Court Umuahia challenging the fraudulent use of his picture, his inclusion and registration as a voter in the deputy governor’s Etitiama Nkporo community( Ndi Elu Ward) in what he described as a clear breach of process and INEC guidelines.
In the said suit, the petitioner had alleged that other irregularities like multiple registration of voters, registration of the under-age, non-residents and use of still pictures/ photographs of various individuals against the direct capturing of images during registration as provided by the laws were fragrantly abused.
The statement reads in part: “One wonders what could be the locus of David Iro for petitioning the AIG to commence a criminal investigation and trial against Hon Ojisi on the validity of INEC Voters Register used in a case filed against INEC.
“Is David better placed to question and challenge the validity of INEC property attached as evidence in a suit pending in court against INEC than INEC itself and the court of competent jurisdiction? The petitioner is not a party and does not represent INEC who has already appeared in court through their legal team to defend the commission. The matter was between INEC and Hon Ojisi and the voter register attached belongs to INEC as a property. It is common sense that INEC reserves the natural right to challenge the source and validity of her voters register tendered in court.
“The court also has the natural right to ascertain the validity of the voters register brought before His Lordship and should take necessary measures to investigate the source and validity in the event that the authenticity of the document is brought to question. Where does David as a lawyer come into this picture?
“It was ridiculous to find people like John Okocha ( PDP Chairman Ohafia LGA ) in court yesterday waiting to watch as the plot to dump Abacha in Afara prison unveiled. But to their greatest chagrin, we watched them bury their ugly faces in utter shame.
“It’s never a crime to belong to APC anywhere in Nigeria. This persecution and political witch hunt of APC members by PDP in Nkporo must certainly stop one day.”