Members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party in Kwara state staged a peaceful protest on Wednesday at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission zonal office, Ilorin, the state capital, against the continued detention of the former governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, by the antigraft agency.

The former governor, who ruled the state between 2011 and 2019, has spent three days in EFCC detention having been arrested on Monday over alleged mismanagement of N10bn state funds.

The protesters, who carried placards with various messages to express frustration and anger over the continued detention of Ahmed, said that he was being detained for more than 48 hours without being charged in court.

Led by the state publicity secretary of the PDP, Olusegun Adewara, the people also accused the antigraft agency of being used by the All Progressives Congress-led government to coerce the former governor to join the ruling APC.

Some of the messages read: “EFCC should stop being a tool in the hands of Abdulrazaq led-APC”, “Governor Ahmed was very transparent”, “EFCC is not a department in APC, EFCC stop the harassment”, “The opposition cannot be silenced”, “Maigida will not join the APC no matter the persecution”, “EFCC don’t instigate political crisis in Kwara state”, “No to illegal detention. Respect the rule of law”, among others.

The state publicity secretary said that the protest was staged to express their displeasure against perceived persecution, adding that the antigraft agency had been used against the opposition PDP for so long.

He said that the former governor was being denied food, medication and visitors to see him.

Addressing the protesters, the zonal commander of the EFCC, Michael Nzekwe, said that the former governor was yet to meet with the bail conditions, saying that “we’re following the rule of law in keeping him.”.

Nzekwe also said that the former governor would be charged to court as soon as the investigation was concluded, adding that “we’re wrapping up. Once we wrap up, the law would take its course. The antigraft agency, being a creation of law, would not go contrary to law.

“Everything we’ve done is within the ambit of the law. The former governor is cooperating with us and we’re making good progress following rules of law.

“As I speak, he’s with his lawyer SAN, he attends to everyone who comes to see him, he has a doctor who has attended to him.

“He eats what he wants to eat. I urge us to allow law take its course. We’re not partisan nor prompted by anybody. This body is solely sponsored by the federal government,” the EFCC commander said.