Wednesday, August 10

Nigerians condemn the arrest of political blogger Abubakar Usman

Nigerian civil rights groups have condemned the arrest of a political blogger by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which has sparked concerns about freedom of speech in the country. Abubakar Usman, the founder of popular political blog, was arrested at his Abuja home on Monday by the EFCC for allegedly “cyber stalking”.

Last week, Usman published a post claiming that EFCC boss Ebrahim Magu was “bullying” his staff.
The blogger is a known supporter of President Mohammadu Buhari and he's a founding member of the APC’s youth wing.

The All Progressive Congress Youth Forum said in a statement that the EFCC, which is designed to tackle endemic fraud in the country, had “obviously overstepped its jurisdiction”. A high-profile civil rights group in Nigeria, The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) also said: “Nigerians should be allowed to talk freely without threats of arrest or harm.”

However, members of the opposition party have expressed their fears that bloggers who support their party would be the next to be arrested, which they suspect is the real plan of the government.
“Their plan is to arrest opposition bloggers, that is our fear,” Adeyanju Deji, a member of the People’s Democratic Party, told AFP.

EFCC spokesman Wilson Uwujaren said that Usman had been released on bail and that his court date will be announced in the coming days.

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