By Adenike Lucas
Many people have come out in support of Abubakar Usman Sidiq, the popular blogger who was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for publishing an article written by Adenike Lucas.
Abusidiq was arrested during a raid to his house by armed EFCC operatives led by Sambo Mayana. A press statement from the EFCC accused the young publisher of cyber stalking. However many Nigerians believe he was arrested for the article published on the 2nd of August which accused the acting chairman of the commission of bullying staffs.
Mr. Michael Bello, Abusidiq’s lawyer has been unable to secure the release of his client, Abusidiq.
In a press release, he issued today, he stated that Kogi-born blogger “was unwell at the time of his arrest, as he was battling typhoid.”
As a result, Mr. Bello said the young father “may not be able to tolerate EFCC’s foot-dragging for too long because of the trauma his family had been subjected to and the need to save his client’s health from deteriorating.
“We would approach the court for enforcement of his fundamental rights if they don’t soften their strict requirement for his bail,” Mr. Bello said. “He needs to attend to his health and his nursing wife should be considered.”
Mr. Bello said he was allowed access to his client around 6:00 p.m. Monday and on today, at noon.
Many Nigerians have lambasted the actions of the commission. One twitter user asked “if this was an attempt to curb freedom of the press.”
Claims have been made that the EFCC has raided a second home with the hope of finding evidence against Abusidiq. The hastag #FreeAbusidiq still remain active from the time he was arrested in the early hours of Monday 8 August.
Abusidiq’s arrest has been condemned by the award winning human right group Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP which has Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria as one of its board members.
In a statement today by its Executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni, the group called for the “immediate” and “unconditional” release of Abusidiq
“The EFCC and indeed all public institutions should proactively encourage freedom of expression to enhance their ability to fight corruption, but also to maintain the sanctity of the constitution and Nigeria’s international obligations and commitments, the statement reads.
“There are many whistle blowers out there that can be of immense support to anti-corruption agencies and contribute to the effective discharge of their statutory mandates to prevent and combat corruption.”
Two sureties have been found and Abusidiq is expected to be released within the next minutes from now. Time of filing news report – 17:28pm 9/08/2016