Mathew Hassan Kukah, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, visited the high profile political detainees at the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Monday, October 31, 2016, an official confirms to The Trent.
The ‘prison’ visit is in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ recorded in the book of Matthew 25:36, Bishop Kukah said during the afternoon visit to the EFCC detention facility.
According to an inside source, the Christian cleric arrived at the EFCC facility around 1pm and specifically requested to meet with Femi Fani-Kayode, Reuben Abati, and Musiliu Obanikoro.
Chief Fani-Kayode and Senator Obanikoro are both former ministers and chieftains of the main opposition party in Nigeria, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and they are being held in connection with alleged payments received as campaign funds during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Reuben Abati, one of Nigeria’s most respected intellectuals served as the spokesperson of President Jonathan for four years. According to the EFCC, he is being held for “his role in the mismanagement of government funds”.
The chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu accompanied Kukah and was present throughout the visit which included a word of encouragement to the political detainees and prayers.
“The August visit of the prominent Christian cleric is symbolic. It was a warm meeting,” an eyewitness told our reporter. “They [Fani-Kayode, Abati, and Obanikoro] were moved by the visit. Bishop Kukah prayed with them. It was moving.”
All the three detainees are being held in contravention of the Nigerian constitution that stipulates that detainees should be charged to court or released from detention within 48 hours. Neither Abati or Obanikoro have been charged to court since their arrest a week ago and three weeks ago, respectively.
Fani-Kayode, a vibrant critic of the Muhammadu Buhari government, was re-arrested two weeks ago when he appeared in court over a matter filed by the EFCC. A day after he was arrested, he slumped in custody leading to fears for his safety.
No new charges have been filed against him and his detention has been labelled a political witch-hunt by the opposition party and political activists.
Meanwhile, the EFCC continues to sponsor stories in APC leaning news platforms supplying innuendo intended to cast the detainees as corrupt without providing actual evidence of the allegations.