Prior to his arrest, Senator Abaribe also expressed shock and displeasure with the slashing of the budget allocation for the Enugu airport terminal which was cut down to N500 million by lawmakers from the N2 billion submitted by the executive arm.

As chairman of the Southeast Senate Caucus, Abaribe said the allocation was reduced after Committees on Aviation at the Senate and House of Representatives had jointly adopted the initial amount.

He further mentioned that the caucus had even lobbied to increase the allocation to N3.5 billion but were unable to achieve it because it had an envelope budgetary plan which meant it couldn’t be increased past N2 billion.

He disclosed that the caucus will meet soon and find out who made the cut and why it was made despite what had already been agreed.

“No right thinking Igbo man would support any cut on allocation for projects in the south-east region,” he said.

However, Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo Uk and  Ireland has decried the arrest of Abaribe, calling for his release.

A press release made available to Realnews at the weekend by the group stated that “It’s with immense and profound concern , shock and disappointment that Ohanaeze Ndigbo Uk learnt of the unparalleled and unwarranted arrest of Senator Enyinaya Abaribe representing Abia South Senatorial District of Abia State of Nigeria by the officers of the Nigeria Department of State Service on Friday, 22June 2018.  There is no genuine reason adduced for his arrest.”

“The Distinguished Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe is a well respected , honest, hardworking, patriotic and experienced Nigerian and Igbo son. He has distinguished himself and contributed immensely to advancement of Democracy in Nigeria. He has robustly stood for equality, fairness and unshakable in fighting the Igbo cause.

“As far as we are aware Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe has been doing due diligence on vital senate matters and discharging his official duties creditably as a ranking senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He is representing our people well and against Igbo marginalisation in Nigeria,” it said.

the release signed by Nnanna Igwe, president, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Uk and Ireland and Kingsley Offor, its secretary, states that “Abaribe is a beloved and patriotic Igbo Son in whom we are very pleased. We wish to also state categorically that he has done nothing wrong and his arrest is illegal, unconstitutional, malicious,  unethical and undemocratic and a flagrant breach of his fundamental human right.”

“Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo Uk and Ireland, therefore, calls on the President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently intervene in this impasse and order the DSS officials to immediately release the Ranking and Distinguished Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe UNCONDITIONALLY. This action by DSS is undoubtedly a pure politically motivated anti democratic arrest and intimidation and therefore unacceptable and condemnable in all its ramifications.

“We in Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo Uk and Ireland stand for fairness, democracy, justice, rule of law, good governance, egalitarian society and fundamental human rights for all Nigerians.

“Furthermore, we wish to join the President General of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo Worldwide, Chief John Nnia Nwodo to make it clear that only the Nigeria Security Agency that knows the whereabouts of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. The siege at Senator Abaribe ‘s house to look for Nnamdi Kanu is a deliberate attempt to cover the truth and blame the innocent and well respected Igbo son.

“Finally, we appeal to the international community and all well meaning Nigerians to prevail on the DSS and President Buhari to release Distinguished Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe UNCONDITIONALLY and make genuine efforts at reconciliation of Nigerians to engender peaceful co-existence, unity and progress in the country,” it said.

– June 25, 2018 @ 2:18 GMT |