Shehu Sani not detained for criticising Buhari — EFCC

The senator representing Kaduna Central in the National Assembly, Shehu Sani
The former senator representing Kaduna Central in the National Assembly, Shehu Sani

The EFCC has reacted to a claim by an ex-senator, Shehu Sani, that he is being unjustly detained.

The EFCC, in a statement on Friday signed by its acting spokesperson, Tony Orilade, said Mr Sani has a case to answer for allegedly extorting a car dealer.

The agency also dismissed claims by the former senator that he is being victimised for consistently criticising President Muhammadu Buhari.

The commission said Mr Sani is being detained “in a very conducive environment based on a valid court order.”

The ex-senator who represented Kaduna Central in the last Senate was arrested by officials of the commission in December for allegedly collecting $25,000 in the name of the EFCC acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu.

The commission on January 2 obtained a court order to detain him.

Also, the operatives of the EFCC, on Wednesday, searched Mr Sani’s Abuja residences and office.

In reaction to his detention, Mr Shehu, on Friday said his detention was “unfair, unjust, prearranged and politically motivated”.

He also termed the allegations levelled against him as “baseless, factless, unfounded, hollow and unsubstantial.”

The former head of Nigeria’s human rights commission, Chidi Odinkalu, had condemned the detention order secured by the EFCC.

He said the EFCC cannot arrest a person on allegations of extortion “and afterward get a 14-day detention order to investigate.”

Read the full statement by the EFCC:

“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has taken note of insinuations and phantom claims that the Commission is “prosecuting” Senator Shehu Sani, because he is a known critic of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

“The Commission wishes to state that Senator Shehu Sani is currently facing criminal investigation, and he is being detained by the EFCC in very conducive environment, based on a valid court order.

“Invariably, claims in some quarters of the breach of his fundamental human rights, is merely in the imagination of the purveyors of such claims.

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“Let it be stated clearly, that Senator Shehu Sani has questions to answer as regards the alleged involvement in name-dropping, and particularly that he obtained $25,000 from Alhaji Sani Dauda, the ASD Motors boss, in order to help shield him from investigations being carried out by the EFCC.

“For certain people to brazenly come out to defend a suspect, who is being probed for a serious offence as the one committed by Sani shows that they are not really conversant with his offence.

“It is unfortunate that certain people are ready to do anything to support evil for pecuniary gains. This is quite unfortunate!

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