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HomeNewsMALABU: CHRICED condemns detention of HEDA chair Suraj, demands apology

MALABU: CHRICED condemns detention of HEDA chair Suraj, demands apology

Rights group, Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civil Education, CHRICED, has condemned the arrest and detention of the executive director of HEDA Resource Agenda, Olarenwaju Suraj by the Nigerian Police.

Ibrahim Zikirullahi, group leader, in a statement on Friday accused the police of trying to silence Mr Suraj, a frontline anti-corruption leader, for exposing massive bribery which followed the sales of the controversial OPL 124 oil block, also known as Malabu.

Mr Zikirullahi said the attack meted on Mr Suraj is a clear indication that the influential in the society is using state institutions to harass and oppress citizens questioning the actions of public officeholders.

“It is disconcerting that the Nigeria Police is already creating the impression that Mr Suraj is guilty, even without any exhaustive investigation of the case. It is, therefore, condemnable that the Nigeria Police is not acting as an impartial and dispassionate investigator in the matter, but appears to be doing the bidding of an interested party,” the group said.

Mr Zikirullahi urged the police to focus on issues surrounding the Malabu deal, and the $1.1 billion paid into an Escrow Account in Nigeria which was later discovered to have been paid as a bribe to top officials of the former President Goodluck Jonathan administration.

“A patriotic police force should be interested in bringing to book those who fleeced the country, instead of joining to persecute a courageous citizen who has been campaigning for justice,” he said.

However, CHRICED demanded the Nigeria Police to tender an unreserved apology to Mr. Suraj and “to stop creating the impression that Nigeria is a country where law enforcement institutions collude with the corrupt and powerful, to suppress the voices of citizens who kick against their actions.”

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