A group of protesters numbering over a hundred, under the aegis, Anti-Corruption Network, today, converged in front of the Unity Fountain, Abuja to protest what it described as the social media trial and attempt by the All Progressives Congress (APC) party to drag the names of the former vice president of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar; former Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki; former House of Representatives Leader, Yakubu Dogara, Former Senator, Dino Melaye and other PDP members to the mud by alleging they have links with Hushpuppi.
The group, who condemned the act by the APC, however, said that Atiku and the former lawmakers are Democrats who should be commended for their roles in bringing growth to Nigeria.
Recall that a suspected Nigerian internet fraudster, Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi was recently arrested in Dubai and extradited to the United States of America (USA) where he is currently facing trial.
Following his arrest, the APC had called for the probe of some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains, including Atiku, Saraki, Dogara, Melaye and Timi Frank for appearing in certain photographs with the suspect many months back.
But Atiku, Saraki, Dogara and Frank have, in separate statements, denied any business connection or link with the suspect.
Meanwhile, addressing newsmen during the protest today, the convener of the group, Mr. Odih Rowland corroborated PDP’s earlier statement and described the call for the arrest and probe of some of the party’s prominent members over alleged links to Hushpuppi as “reckless, irresponsible and a cheap blackmail,” saying it further exposed a victimisation agenda of the APC.
The group said Atiku, Saraki, Dogara, Melaye and those accused are prominent Nigerians with good track record known beyond Africa and that attempt to bring their good names to ridicule would be vehemently condemned by the group. It however called on the president to investigate the Hushpuppi case as well as focus on fixing the economy to save Nigeria instead of allowing his party to distract him in trying to drag the names of Atiku and others to the mud.
According to Mr. Rowland, ” we are here to ask Mr. President to investigate who and who are behind Hushpuppi. Calling on the PDP that they are behind Hushpuppi, that is a big lie.
“The APC should not drag the name of Atiku into this. The PDP will not accept it.
” Atiku is a Democrat. Bukola Saraki is a Democrat; Dogara is a Democrat. We say no to the intimidation. No more social media trial.
”We are calling on Mr. President to say enough is enough. Mr. President should go and investigate who is behind Hushpuppi. Stop insulting our leaders. Our leaders are doing the right things. Focus on economy to save Nigeria.
“The President should set up a panel to investigate Hushpuppi. Hushpuppi is a criminal and Nigerian youths are not part of Hushpuppi,” he said.