Mrs. Fani-Kayode narrates ordeal, says commission lied
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has frowned at the detention of the wife of former spokesperson of its Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mrs. Precious Chikwendu Fani-Kayode, by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The party said it has advised the family to approach the courts and enforce their legal rights in the matter.
Fani-Koyide’s wife has also reacted to the explanation given by the anti-graft agency regarding the incident, describing it as a bare-faced lie.
The wife of the PDP’s chieftain had gone to the Access Bank branch in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State to make a transaction shortly after visiting the state Governor, Ayo Fayose, when she was detained in the bank by the EFCC.
In a statement issued yesterday by the acting National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, the party said the action of the EFCC represents a new low in the federal government resolve to harass and persecute perceived enemies.
“We condemn in its entirety, the arrest and detention of Precious Chikwendu, wife of Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, former spokesperson of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation (PDP-PCO) on October 17, 2016, by the EFCC in Ado-Ekiti. She was arrested along with her eight months old son, Aragorn, and would have been detained but for the timely intervention of Fayose.
“This action represents a new low in the federal government’s resolve to harass and persecute real and perceived enemies of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration under the guise of an anti-corruption crusade.
“It is reprehensible for the government to attack members of the families of its perceived enemies, especially wives and children, for any reason whatsoever.”
“In addition to freezing Fani-Kayode’s accounts, the federal government has ordered the freezing of his wife, Chikwendu’s account several of which were opened and operated long before their marriage. These accounts have been frozen for no reason other than her marriage to Fani-Kayode.
“The Buhari administration cannot, and must not be allowed to continue the violation of the constitutional rights and freedom of the Nigerian people. This sort of tyranny must not be allowed to continue unchecked,” the party noted.
Meanwhile, Fani-Kayode has issued a statement denying EFCC’s version of what transpired during the encounter with his wife in Ado Ekiti.
In the statement issued yesterday, the Special Assistant to the former minister’s wife, Chineye Okechukwu, described the allegation by EFCC’s spokesman, Wilson Uwugiern that N2.4 million was found in his wife’s account as a “ lie from the pit of hell.”
According to the statement, “The assertion by one Wilson Uwugiern who is supposed to be the spokesman of the EFCC that Precious Chikwendu’s Access Bank account was used to launder President Goodluck Jonathan campaign funds or funds from the NSA’s office and that approximately N2.4 million balance was found in the said account at the time of her arrest is a lie from the pit of hell.”
Chikwendu Fani-Kayode’s statement read: “The said account was opened in 2005 at Onitsha when Precious Chikwendu was about to commence study at the University of Calabar. At that time, it was not known as Access Bank but Intercontinental Bank. The account was used by her from 2005 till 2012 when it was abandoned and went dormant.
“It was not utilised or activated again until August 2016 when small deposits of between 200,000 and 500,000 were made into it and the total amount that entered into that account over a period of two months was approximately N4 million.
“The money was spent on looking after the family; paying staff salaries and buying groceries. Consequently, at the time that the account was frozen last Friday, the amount that was left in it was N95,000. She was not notified about the freezing of the account until someone paid 200,000 into it last Saturday.
The money entered the account but after that it could not be accessed.”
Narrating their ordeal, her assistant said Chikwendu decided to stop at the bank on her way out of Ado Ekiti last Monday in order to know what was going on and she was then detained and offered to the police and EFCC, together with her eight month old son Aragorn, for arrest.
She said: “The total amount that was in the account at the time of the arrest was N295, 000 which is approximately $600. This is reflected in the screenshot above together with the relevant dates.
“How Wilson of the EFCC arrived at his figure of N2.4 million being in the account at the time of arrest is mind-boggling and absurd. It is nothing but a shameless and barefaced lie and he and the organisation that he works for are nothing but pernicious liars.
“Finally let me add this. It is not true that Precious Chikwendu has 17 accounts in GTBank. This is another dirty EFCC lie. She has one current account with a merged savings account in GTBank which was opened in 2012.
“Aside that, she has a dollar and a pounds sterling accounts with the same bank which were all opened on the same day in 2012. None of these accounts have any connection whatsoever with public funds or with Chief Femi Fani-Kayode and neither was any GT Bank BVN linked to his. Again, on this issue, the EFCC lied.
“Neither is it true that the EFCC were not at the bank in Ado Ekiti to arrest her because three of their operatives were actually there manning the bank door with their identity cards pinned to their jackets. They were backed by five fully armed policemen in uniform.
“They made it clear to Chikwendu that they had been ordered to bring her to Abuja by road that same evening and that if she could not leave her son in the bank with the manager he would have to come for the ride too.
“Had it not been for the intervention of Fayose; that is exactly what would have happened and only God knows what they would have been subjected to on the way.”