Jude Ndukwe, the special assistant to former aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of weaving “disheartening lies” concerning the visit of Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan Kukah, to the agency on Monday.
Bishop Kukah met with Musiliu Obanikoro (former minister of state for defence), Reuben Abati (former special adviser on media and publicity) and Fani-Kayode. He was also taken on a tour of EFCC facilities by the chairman of the commission, Ibrahim Magu.
Afterwards, a statement released by the spokesman of the commission, Wilson Uwujaren, quoted the bishop as saying that the facilities at the detention centre were “clean and orderly” and the detainees were in “high spirits.”
Fani-Kayode’s spokesman has however disputed the EFCC’s characterisation of Kukah’s visit.
“We reject the notion that Kukah said the trio was ‘cheerful’. This was obviously added to make a caricature of the seriousness of the condition of the detainees. What is there in EFCC for anyone to be cheerful about especially when someone is being illegally detained?” he said in a statement on Tuesday.
Ndukwe said that Kukah met the detainees at the EFCC clinic and later had some private moments with them, encouraged them and prayed with them.
He said the EFCC’s description of the detainees’ demeanor as cheerful was a “deliberate and wicked manipulation of the media against the trio,” pointing out that even if the commission converts a five-star hotel to its facility, it can never be good enough to illegally keep citizens on account of their political leanings.
Nduke said that the detention of Fani-Kayode is illegal as his arrest at the premises of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos on the 21st of October was done without a warrant and went contrary to the advice of the presiding judge who said it would be unwise to re-arrest him as he had honoured their invitations, been on bail from both EFCC and the courts, has never been declared wanted and had appeared in court of his own accord
“Uwujaren and his paymasters should tell Nigerians why they have allowed themselves to toe the path of this administration’s vindictiveness, vengeance, vendetta and persecutions rather than diligent prosecutions according to our laws,” the statement said. “Until then, visits of people like Bishop Kukah would remain a constant reminder to them that power is transient and that light can never overcome darkness.”