Days after he regained freedom from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Chief Femi Fan-Kayode, a former aviation minister and spokesman for the campaign team of former President Goodluck Jonathan, has recounted what transpired between him and the agency.
Fani-Kayode regained freedom after spending 24 days in a detention facility belonging to the EFCC. He has argued that he was unjustly arrested.
Chief Femi Fani-Kayode at the office of at the EFCC on May 9
On Monday, November 14, 2016 at the Federal High Court in Lagos, Justice Muslim Hassan lambasted the EFFC and its prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, for arresting the former minister at the court premises on October 21, 2016, without an arrest warrant and for detaining him illegally without any detention order for over three weeks.
“This was made all the more damning by the fact that Justice Hassan had previously warned the EFCC not to re-arrest Chief Fani-Kayode who had been previously detained by them for 67 days.
“Justice Hassan said this because he had granted Chief Fani-Kayode court bail as far back as July 4th and at the previous court session he had specifically warned and admonished the EFCC not to re-arrest or detain him after his lawyer told the court that this was what they were planning to do.
“Justice Hassan told the EFCC that serving charges on an accused person should not warrant arrest and detention and that he himself was once a prosecutor and that was not the way things are meant to be done,”a statement made available to NAIJ.com by Jude Ndukwe, his spokesperson, said.
The statement said when Oyedepo attempted to mislead the court by lying and feigning ignorance of the planned re- arrest and detention of Chief Fani-Kayode, and “proffered a shameless and disgraceful justification” for it after he was forced to admit that it happened, Justice Hassan advised him to stop trying to defend the indefensible and told him to tender his apologies to the court for the illegal behaviour of the EFCC.
“Oyedepo took the advice and he promptly apologised.
“The behaviour of the EFCC and their gestapo-like tactics do not surprise us because the hatred and pure venom that the acting-chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, harbours for Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, his family and, indeed, any member of the opposition that speaks out openly against the government is self-evident and legendary.
“What is more surprising is the fact that every single newspaper in the country blacked out the story, with the exception of The Nation, and refused to report what was essentially a very serious and rare rebuke by a sitting Federal High Court judge about the wayward and reckless abuse of power by an organisation that is headed by a man who is filled with malice and who is prepared to do anything, including using the most primitive and barbaric practices of brutality and force and the perverse manipulation, threatening and teleguiding of the media to crush all forms of dissent and opposition in the name of fighting corruption.
“The truth is that Magu and his brutal and unlawful ways have created more enemies for the government, have thwarted and done greater damage to the war against corruption by targeting innocent men and women for persecution rather than prosecution,” the statement said, adding that Chief Fani-Kayode had been detanied in underground cells by the EFCC for no less than a total of three months since the Buhari regime came to power “all in the name of the investigation of spurious offences and baseless allegations when the law clearly states that an arrest and detention should only take place after an investigation is completed.”
The statement reminded media houses that refused to publish the story that it could be their turn to experience violated rights since they chose to be quiet on what truly transpired at the court on that day.
“It is important that the Nigerian people know the truth about the way in which the EFCC behaves and reporting events factually and accurately is the lifeblood of democracy.
“We urge the Nigerian media to rise up to the occasion and not allow themselves to be used by a group of ruthless headhunters who wish to cover up their atrocities,” the statement said.
The spokesperson of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, could not be reached for reaction at the time of this report.