Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomole has lent his voice in support of the decision of the Nigeria Prisons Service to handcuff the spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, saying there was nothing absolutely wrong with it.
Metuh is standing trial for receiving N400 million from former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, traced to part of the $2.1 billion fund meant for arms purchase but was diverted by the former NSA.
Speaking during a meeting with the new Executive Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Edo State Council, led by Sir Roland Osakwe in Benin City, yesterday, Oshiomhole said those who are accused of committing petty crimes are handcuffed and paraded by the police even before they go to trial and get no sympathy from the public and wondered why Metuh and others, who diverted huge public funds, should get lesser treatment.
He said, “I want to appeal to the Media to join President Buhari in fighting the anti-corruption war because if we don’t, and we allow these people to harass the President to silence, all of us are in trouble.
“I saw some headlines querying why should Metuh be in handcuffs? If people who steal he-goats, dried grass cutters are in handcuffs; I have been to the police station several times and I see young men who rob not more than N500,000 in handcuffs, they are paraded and made them to seat on the floor. Why should certain set of criminals be treated as if they are not suspected criminals and serious crimes at that?
“When you all reported lavishly how under the former President, the former Defense Chief set up a Military Tribunal to try soldiers who ran away from battle field and they were condemned to death. It was only Femi Falana who was consistent in fighting their case. Those are Nigerians who were to be killed for running away because they couldn’t confront a Boko Haram that was well armed while they were asked to go and fight with their bare hands and we were told that weapons, ammunitions and everything had been provided”.
“When Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima, said, ‘Look, our Armed Forces are fighting with bare hands’, he was told to shut up. Now it is clear from current revelations that the money that would have been used to arm these young men who joined the army with pride and who on a good day have the courage to fight not only at home but abroad, but because they didn’t have arms, they ran away.
“They were sentenced to death. Thanks to Buhari, some have been commuted now to various terms of imprisonment which I applaud and I think even that one should further be reviewed, they should summit their uniform but remain free people.
“Now, those who shared that money, this is not the usual security money, this is special appropriation to fight Boko Haram, $2.1 billion, people just shared it, everybody was using their son, co-opting young children into this while other people’s children were sentenced to death. And anybody who partakes in that and they put him in handcuffs, they say, why should he be in handcuff because he is an elite and the media will report it without also showing us pictures of some Nigerians whose fathers are not known, but are not less Nigerian than any of us, who are always not only in handcuffs but are put on the floor in various police stations and paraded even before they are charged to court and we all look at them and turn to the next pictures, it doesn’t attract a commentary.
“Why should some criminals just be celebrated even when we all can feel the amount of damage, the consequences of their rascality on our collective wellbeing? I think the media should support the President. This is not President Buhari’s fight, and you know he had reminded us that if we don’t kill corruption, it will kill us. Now corruption is fighting back”.