- Coordinators of the N-Power programme in Abia have demanded the release of one of their colleagues detained by the Department of State Service (DSS)
- The detained N-Power coordinator, Felix Obisike, was arrested by officials of the DSS for allegedly being in possession of elections result sheets
- The aggrieved coordinators in the state called for Obisike's unconditional release and described his detention as unlawful
The leadership of the federal government’s N-Power programme in the 17 local government areas of Abia have decried the continued detention of the state scheme's coordinator, Felix Obisike, allegedly by the Department of State Service (DSS) in the state, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
Obisike was reportedly arrested and detained by DSS on Friday, February 15, for allegedly being in unlawful possession of written result sheets said to belong to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In a communique issued at the end of their meeting in Umuahia on Wednesday, February 20, the coordinators called for his unconditional release, describing his incarceration as unlawful.
They urged DSS to immediately release him or charge him to court without further delay. They threatened to embark on a state-wide protest, if the suspect was not released after the next 48 hours.
They alleged that Obisike was a victim of vendetta, which was aimed at blackmailing him and other beneficiaries of N-Power in Abia “in order to score a cheap political point.”
The coordinators said: “We challenge anyone, including INEC, who can come forward and confirm that the typed document is a result sheet detached from INEC form.”
They argued that election result sheets were usually handwritten in the presence of other election stakeholders and not typed.
They also called for a thorough investigation to expose the identities of those that allegedly produced the video recording that was used to blackmail Obisike.
They demanded that such persons be arrested and prosecuted for alleged misrepresentation of facts and misleading the public by spreading falsehood.
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They appealed to Abia government to take urgent steps to secure the immediate release of the suspect, in line with its constitutional obligations to protect the people of Abia.
NAN reports that the communique was signed by Johnson Otuonye, the state N-Power spokesman, Chigozie Anaba (Isiala Ngwa north N-Power) and Nkeiru Okechukwu (Bende N-Power).
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, disclosed that the federal government had set a target of training 10 million graduates in Nigeria under the N-Power programme by 2023.
Osinbajo made this known in a special lecture he delivered on: The Challenges of Human Development in 21st Century Africa at Oxford University, United Kingdom.
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