A former Nigerian senator, Shehu Sani, says the claim by the EFCC that he was involved in a $24,000 extortion was sponsored to ”tarnish his reputation and mute him.”
Mr Sani who spoke on Friday, the first time since he was detained by the EFCC, said the allegation was “baseless, factless, unfounded, hollow and unsubstantial.”
He described his detention as “unfair, unjust, prearranged and politically motivated.”
The ex-senator who represented Kaduna Central in the last Senate was arrested by officials of the commission in December for allegedly “collecting money in the name of the EFCC acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu”.
The commission on January 2 obtained a court order to detain him for the alleged crimes.
Also, operatives of the EFCC on Wednesday searched the Abuja residences and offices of Mr Sani.
The former head of Nigeria’s human rights commission, Chidi Odinkalu, condemned the detention order secured by the EFCC. He said the EFCC cannot arrest a person on allegations of extortion and afterwards get a 14-day detention order to investigate.
Mr Sani, a major critic of the current administration and governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, said “framing him” would not silence or compromise him.
The statement reads: ”It is a scripted stream of mischievous concoctions and utter fabrications using a puppet state agent; all aimed at splashing feaces and mud on me.
”The extortion allegation is nothing but a wholesale falsehood, packaged in a phantom anti-graft facade to taint, stain and mute me. That shall never happen if I am alive.
”I have made my statement and provided all my facts against their package of lies and I demand the EFCC to make public all the sheets of our statements and supporting documents for the world to see.
”My detention is unfair, unjust, prearranged and politically motivated.
”Alhaji Sani Dauda and his hidden sponsors have not been able to provide any proof of their allegations. I’m unjustly incarcerated on the ground of an arranged two-page petition backed with no evidential or documentary proof.
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“Fascism thrives in a frame-up of its critics. They claim extortion and here they are closing my bank accounts, searching my houses and offices and demanding I declare my assets of which I have already done that at the CCB last year when I left the senate.
”Frame-up cannot silence me!!! I have never ever met with the CJN or any judge or judges or ever called directly or indirectly to offer to give or to give directly or indirectly any form of gratification from Alhaji Sani Dauda
”I have never ever discussed with ASD on any form of bribe or gratification to be given to any judge or any EFCC official.
”The bribe story is phantom, the bribe story is a fake, imaginative work of fiction, cruelly crafted to smear me, to frame me and to justify my persecution.
”The bribe story is a heap of blatant lies and outright falsehood concocted and fabricated, using a front and the EFCC to premiere a state drama.
”ASD is a barely educated front for a state mission. Criminalising me or “framing me” will not silence me, bend me or compromise me.”