THE Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested a popular Nigerian blogger and political commentator, Mr Abubakar Sidiqu Usman, for an alleged online publication against the commission’s chairman, Mr Ibrahim Magu.
The blogger was reportedly picked up in the early hours of Monday at his residence in Abuja by the EFCC operatives led by one Sambo Mangana.
He is the publisher of Abusidiqu.com.
He has, however, been offered administrative bail and would be released to his elected sureties.
The EFCC said Mr Usman’s activities contradicted sections of the Cyber Crime Act, but that he had been granted administrative bail and would be released after successfully providing sureties.
If charged, Mr Usman would be the third blogger to be arrested under the Cyber Crime Act, which was signed by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011.
Bloggers Seun Oloketuyi and Emmanuel Ojo were arrested in 2015 for offences that allegedly contravened the act.
In reactions to the development, Convener of the Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (COHRD) Inibehe Effiong, in a statement he issued in Abuja on Monday, condemned the arrest saying; “it was worrisome and extremely troubling that the commission will arrest a citizen of Nigeria in a manner reminiscent of the dark days of military dictatorship.”
Effiong argued that the EFCC did not have powers under the extant laws, including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004, to investigate, arrest, detain or prosecute any person for any alleged offence except in respect of economic and financial crimes.