By Emeka Mamah & SONI DANIEL
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has said that there was no political undertone in the arrest of the Chairman of Bi-Courtney Limited, Dr. Wale Babalakin and the son of the Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido, Aminu for alleged financial crimes.
The commission said both men committed offences punishable by law and could not have been arrested for political reasons.
There had been insinuations in political circles that the arrest of the two people was not unconnected with the 2015 presidential election as both of the suspects were close to the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
Some political pundits believe that the ‘’harassment’’ of the two people started shortly after Obasanjo reportedly expressed support for the duo of Governor Sule Lamido and his Rivers State counterpart for President and Vice President in 2015, as the presidency was said to have become jittery over the development.
Although Dr Babalakin is not a politician, it was beleived that being very wealthy, he could be called upon by his friend to provide financial support for his preferred candidates.
However, the Acting Head of Media and Publicity in the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, told Vanguard that the allegation that the two men were arrested because of their closeness to former President Obasanjo was baseless and a product of mischief.
Uwujaren said that Balalakin was arrested and charged to court for money laundering and not because he had anything to do with Obasanjo while Lamido’s son was caught with over $40,000 at the airport, wondering if Obasanjo asked them to allegedly ‘’commit these crimes?’’
According to him, the commission had arrested many other Nigerians with over $9 million at different airports in Nigeria and charged them to court in accordance with the law without anyone raising any political issue over them.
“What EFCC is doing has nothing to do with any politics of the past or the future but to rid the nation of economic and financial crimes,” the spokesman added.
One of the son’s of Governor Lamido, Aminu was arrested with undeclared N6.3 million equivalent in U.S dollars at the Kano airport about two weeks ago.