by Abdullahi Garba
The Kaduna state Police Command on Friday summoned the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the state, Nasir El-Rufai, and two other bigwigs of the party to report for questioning in their offices.
Summoned to appear along with Mr. El-Rufai are Suleiman Hunkuyi and Lawal Yakawada.
Mr. Hunkuyi is the APC senatorial candidate for Kaduna North and chairman of the APC Kaduna state campaign council while Mr. Yakawada, who was secretary to the state government in the Patrick Yakowa government, is a senior member of the APC campaign council.
All three were invited by the deputy commissioner of police in charge of the CID.
Samuel Aruwan, the spokesman for the APC campaign council said, the police have followed up the written invitation with telephone calls.
The intent behind requesting the three top leaders of the opposition to report on the eve of the election is to hold them down until the election ends, Mr. Aruwan said.
It is not clear why the Police want to question the three men but party insiders suggested the invitation has to do with a petition about destruction of billboards in Zaria.
The APC claims it has been a victim of widespread vandalisation of its assets, saying the action of the police “is part of a campaign to slap criminal charges on the opposition for actions for which it has already been victimized”.
In response to the invitation, Yusuf Dankofa, an associate professor of law and counsel to the APC, has written to the police, notifying them that there is an ongoing court action at the Federal High Court in Kaduna regarding the events in Zaria.
In a letter to the commissioner of police, Mr. Dankofa said the pendency of the case prevents the police from taking any action in connection with the matter, as “that would not only amount to an act of sub judice, but would also translate to a total disregard for justice and a further desecration of the hallowed majesty of our courts.”
“In view of this fact that the above mentioned people’s application is before the court, the matter has been further adjourned to the 29th of April 2015 for further arguments and with this the court has been seized of this matter,” Mr. Dankofa said.
The police is yet to respond to Mr. Dankofa’s letter.
Meanwhile, the APC says it has been alerted to a plot to arrest some of its chieftains in Southern Kaduna.
They include party chairman and gubernatorial running-mate, Barnabas Yusuf Bala (Bantex), Mikaiah Tokwak, Ishaya Iko, a retired vice-admiral and Ben Kure, Director General of Kaduna APC Campaign Council.