By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Ado-Ekiti-Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has faulted the continuous detention of the immediate past Governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shema by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), describing it as further demonstration of the anti-graft agency’s lack of respect for the fundamental rights of Nigerians as provided by the country’s 1999 constitution.
Fayose said, “EFCC should release him immediately or charge him to court if there is any evidence of corruption against him rather than acting as if it is law unto itself.”
Fayose, who decried the continuous reign of impunity by the EFCC, noted that; “It is on record that former governor Ibrahim Shema reported at the EFCC office in Abuja by himself on September 16 and 12 days after, he is still being detained by the EFCC and one cannot but ask where EFCC derived its powers to first arrest Nigerians, detain them and be searching for evidences to prosecute them later.”
According to the governor’s Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, “In saner climes, anti-corruption agencies will only arrest suspects after prima facie case had been established against them and they are charged to court almost immediately, unlike the Nigeria’s EFCC that will arrest suspects and detain them indefinitely while looking for evidences to prosecute them. Funny enough, the EFCC will even expect the suspects to supply evidences with which they will be prosecuted.”
The governor asked; “Hope former governor Shema’s incarceration is not because of his perceived presidential ambition?”
He said if former governor Shema was being held on the strength of the petition written by the APC government of Katsina State, the anti-corruption agency must also tell Nigerians what happened to the several petitions written against APC leaders, especially former governors, who left office in 2015 like Shema.
The governor said; “it is unfortunate that a man like Shema, who did exceedingly well as Katsina State governor and even left over N3 billion in the state’s treasury is now being humiliated ostensibly for political reasons.
“By declaring former governor Shema wanted, it presupposes that EFCC already had water-tight evidences against him and one wonders why he is still being kept in detention 12 days after he made himself available to the commission.
“In the interest of democracy, rule of law and well-being of Nigerians, this continuous use of EFCC to humiliate and oppress those perceived as threat to the All Progressives Congress (APC) hold on power beyond 2019 must stop and.
“Arresting, incarceration and humiliation of notable opposition figures by the EFCC will not translate to success of the APC government and those who want President Mohammadu Buhari to succeed should let him know this.”
While reiterating his call to the international community to pay attention to the abuse of rights of Nigerians by the EFCC, Governor Fayose said; “the EFCC must change this brutish strategy and style and put the rights of Nigerians first.”