The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has kicked against the Justice Okon Abang ruling which ordered Senator Ali Ndume to be remanded in Correctional facility for failing to produce the former chairman of the scrapped Pension Reform Task Force, Abdulrasheed Maina in court.
Maina is standing trial for alleged money laundering charges to the tune of N2 billion brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail in the sum of N500 million and a surety in like sum, who must always appear in court for his trial.
But in a bench ruling Monday, Justice Abang ordered Maina’s surety, Senator Ndume, to be remanded at the Kuje Correctional facility pending the time he was able to fulfil the bail bond or produce Maina in court.
Reacting to the court ruling, the AYCF described the court order as “selective justice”, arguing that Senator Eyinaya Abaribe, who stood surety for the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu is walking the street as a free man.
In a statement signed by its national president, Yerima Shettima, the AYCF said: “We, as a youth group from the North, find the arrest and remand in prison of Senator Ali Ndume because fugitive Abdurrashid Maina had jumped bail, as unfair. Much as we are not denying whether Abdurrashid Maina committed an offence or not, we believe it amounts to setting bad example if Senator Abaribe – who stood surety for terrorist Nnamdi Kanu is still walking the streets as a free man.
“We cannot fathom why Senator Abaribe, who secured bail for IPOB’s Kanu, whose action has since been declared treasonable and terror to the country (and still on the run) has never ever been sanctioned for standing surety. In the interest of equity, fairness and balance, Senator Abaribe should be immediately arrested and remanded in prison too, until IPOB’s Kanu is turned in or he turns himself in.
“Both Ndume and Abaribe are senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and therefore Abaribe cannot be said to be higher in status than Ndume. Both are lawmakers by the grace of our national constitution and the votes of their constituents.
“Most importantly, we have a duty as a country to demonstrate that in this country, no one citizen is above the other. Significantly, Ndume’s case is such that Maina is still a ‘suspect’ being tried by the law and no sentence has yet been handed down by any court of competent jurisdiction. Still, this cannot be said of Nnamdi Kanu and his treason case.
“We are therefore very disturbed that this is happening to Ndume at a moment democratic power is mainly in the hands of people from Ndume’s immediate constituency. It is this kind of development that gives room for people to accuse the Federal Government of selective application of justice.
“We therefore call on President Buhari to intervene and put an end to this embarrassing selectivity against one of the North’s exceptionally-vocal, fearless and pro-masses member of the National Assembly.”