The visit by Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Father Matthew Hassan Kukah to the trio of Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, Musiliu Obanikoro and Dr Reuben Abati in EFCC custody, Monday, has been criticised by Chief Femi Fani-Kayode’s aide saying that the report that the Chief Femi Fani-Kayode and others were ‘cheerful’ in detention was a lie and that ‘what is there in EFCC for anyone to be cheerful about especially when someone is being illegally detained.’
The statement signed by Jude Ndukwe said further that the EFCC’s spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, press statement concerning the Catholic cleric visit was ‘woven with disheartening lies’.
Jude also said that for some of EFCC’s facilities to be ‘‘clean and orderly’ does not give them the liberty to illegally detain Nigerians for as long as they wish. Even if EFCC converts a five-star hotel to its facility, it can never be good enough to illegally keep citizens on account of their political leanings.’
The statement read thus ‘On Monday, October 31, 2016, the highly revered Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, His Lordship, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, paid a visit to the trio of Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, Musiliu Obanikoro and Dr Reuben Abati in EFCC custody.
On his arrival there, he met them at the clinic and afterwards had some private moments with them away from the prying eyes of journalists. Bishop Kukah spoke inspirational words of encouragement to the trio wherein he encouraged them to be strong and see this as a trying period for them.
He prayed for them before departing. It was therefore very shocking to us to read that the Commission’s spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, released a press statement wherein he alluded a lot of things supposedly said by the Catholic cleric and wove disheartening lies around them.
Even if we decide to agree that Kukah said the clinic and detention area of the commission was ‘clean and orderly’, 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.
It is all part of EFCC’s deliberate and wicked manipulation of the media against the trio who were met at the EFCC clinic by the bishop while undergoing some medical attention to say that they were cheerful. Also, that some of EFCC’s facilities were reportedly said to be ‘clean and orderly’ does not give them the liberty to illegally detain Nigerians for as long as they wish.
Even if EFCC converts a five-star hotel to its facility, it can never be good enough to illegally keep citizens on account of their political leanings.
For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to reiterate for the umpteenth time that the EFCC is holding Chief Femi Fani-Kayode illegally based on the following events: 1)His re-arrest at the premises of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos on the 21st of October was done without a warrant 2)The arrest was done after the presiding judge on the day’s matter had advised that it would be unwise to re-arrest a man who had honoured their invitations, had been on bail from both EFCC and the courts, has never been declared wanted and had appeared in court of his own accord 3)He has been held for close to two weeks without even their usual questionable detention order which they used in holding him earlier for 67 days Rather than feed Nigerians with a new mundane ‘clean and orderly’ campaign at the expense of More serious issues bordering on illegal incarceration of citizens based on their opinions on national matters, 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.
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.’
Father Matthew Hassan Kukah during his unscheduled visit, yesterday to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission office in Abuja, where some top-ranking Peoples Democratic Party officials are being detained over graft-related issues said after the inspection tour, said “I discussed with some detained suspects like Femi Fani-Kayode, Musiliu Obanikoro and Reuben Abati; and I am quite pleased they are looking cheerful.
“I was also happy with the humility of the acting Chairman who took me round and the way he interacted with the detainees. This is what is important for our country so that nobody takes these kinds of things personal. I am happy I came.
“We are all staff of EFCC to the extent that we want a better country and we are doing what needs to be done. We’ll continue praying that God guides you, keeps you safe and ensure that we build a country that we all will be proud of. This country has suffered so much, but we hope and pray that we can bring the suffering and trauma to an end as we collectively fight corruption.”
The revered priest who expressed delight that the detainees appeared in high spirits despite the discomfort of temporary restriction also urged them not to be downcast and to see their current travail as divine.
EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, told Kukah that the work the commission was doing for Nigeria was not personal but geared towards changing the country for the better.
Magu also cleared the air on the detention of the PDP top shots, saying that it was not personal. “It is not personal. This is all about Nigeria and making it better. And I think there is a consensus around this,” he said
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