THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) has arrested another senior member of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) National Working Committee, Uche Secondus.
Secondus, deputy national chairman of the party, was allegedly arrested on Tuesday by the anti-corruption agency.
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, is currently facing trial over his alleged involvement in the diversion of public funds meant for arms purchase into the campaign fund of the party’s presidential candidate in the last general elections, Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
Secondus who, until last week, was the acting national chairman of the party, was arrested by the EFCC as part of its ongoing investigation of Mr. Jide Omokare, chairman of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited.
Omokore is being investigated by the anti-corruption agency over multi-billion oil swap deals between his firm and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Omokare’s company was one of those accused of lifting crude oil worth billions of dollars, but only remitted a fraction of its worth to government coffers.
It could not be ascertained if Secondus was a beneficiary of the shady crude oil swaps but a PDP source disclosed to a Daily Sun that the party’s deputy national chairman was asked to offer explanations on campaign buses donated to the erstwhile ruling party by Omokare.
Omokore is an alleged crony of the former minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Deziani Allison-Madueke.
EFCC operatives were said to be probing the source of the funds used to purchase the vehicles, some of which were allegedly meant for party’s officials.
Omokore’s company was rated as one of the highest beneficiaries of the former minister’s contract approvals.
However, another source confirmed that the PDP chieftain was being interrogated not only in connection with the vehicles donated to the party, but, also, “other relevant issues”.
The arrest did not go down well with PDP. The National Working Committee of the party described the arrest as part of an orchestrated plot by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government to clampdown on the main opposition party in the name of anti-corruption crusade.
In a statement by its national Legal Adviser, Victor Kwom, the party further alleged that a plan was in the offing by the Muhammadu Buhari administration to arrest Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio and other leaders of the party on imaginary charges.
“The party alerts the nation that the arrest and detention of Secondus by the EFCC is part of the grand script to decimate the opposition.
“We are also aware that plans have been perfected to arrest and detain Ekweremadu, Akpabio and other leaders of the party on imaginary charges.
“Indeed, intelligence available to the party shows that the federal government, using its various agencies, is bent on destroying any opposition to the ruling party as all indications show that government is more interested in humiliating the PDP than fighting corruption.
“Finally, we state that this war on the PDP and its leaders has, indeed, gone too far. It has now become a mockery of democratic practice.”