The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, who was recently arrested and detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Jude Ndukwe, has stated that Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court, Lagos on November 14, lambasted the anti-graft commission and its prosecutor, one Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, in open court, for arresting the former minister in the court premises on October 21, without an arrest warrant and for detaining him illegally without any detention order for 24 days.
In a statement released to journalists yesterday, Ndukwe also revealed that Justice Hassan had previously warned the EFCC not to re-arrest Fani-Kayode who had been previously detained by the commission for 67 days.
According to him, Justice Hassan had granted Fani-Kayode court bail as far back as July 4 and at the previous court session and had specifically warned and admonished the EFCC not to re-arrest or detain the former minister after his lawyer told the court that that was what the commission was planning to do.
Ndukwe also stated that Justice Hassan told the EFCC that serving charges on an accused person should not warrant arrest and detention, adding that he (judge) was once a prosecutor.
Ndukwe noted that when Oyedepo attempted to feign ignorance of the re- arrest and detention of Fani-Kayode and attempted to defend the EFCC’s action, Justice Hassan advised him to tender his apologies to the court for the illegal behaviour of the EFCC.
According to Ndukwe, Oyedepo took the advice and he promptly apologised.
“The behaviour of the EFCC and their gestapo-like tactics does 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,” Ndukwe added.
Ndukwe further stated that what was more surprising was the fact that every newspaper in the country blacked out the story, with the exception of The Nation.
“The truth is that Magu and his brutal and unlawful ways has created more enemies for the government and has thwarted and done greater damage to the war against corruption by targeting innocent men and women for persecution rather than prosecution,” he added.
Ndukwe alleged that Fani-Kayode had been detained 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.”