The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Mathew Kukah, on Monday visited the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in Abuja.
According to a statement by the commission’s spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, Mr. Kukah met with Femi Fani-Kayode, Musiliu Obanikoro, and a former presidential spokesperson, Reuben Abati, among others.
He said that Mr. Kukah was reportedly conducted round the EFCC’s detention facilities by the acting chairman of the commission, Ibrahim Magu.
Mr. Uwujaren said Mr. Kukah expressed delight that the detainees were in high spirits despite the discomfort of temporary restriction.
”I discussed with some detained suspects like Femi Fani-Kayode, Musiliu Obanikoro and Reuben Abati, and I am quite pleased they are looking cheerful.
”I was also happy with the humility of the acting chairman who took me round and the way he interacted with the detainees.
”This is what is important for our country so that nobody takes these kinds of things personal. I am happy I came,” the statement quoted him as saying.
Mr. Kukah said that well meaning Nigerians like himself were staff of EFCC to the extent that they wanted a better country and were doing what was needed to be done.
“We’ll continue pray that God guides you, keeps you safe and ensure that we build a country that we all will be proud of.
”This country has suffered so much, but we hope and pray that we can bring the suffering and trauma to an end as we collectively fight corruption,” he said.
The cleric commended the commission over the state of its detention facilities in Abuja, describing them as ‘clean and orderly”.
Mr. Magu, the statement said, assured the detainees that their incarceration was not personal.
“It is not personal; this is all about Nigeria and making it better. And I think there is a consensus around this,” he said.
Messrs Fani-Kayode, Abati and Obanikoro are all held for their alleged corrupt practices while holding public office.
The three men have publicly denied any wrongdoing while Messrs Fani-Kayode and Obanikoro have alleged persecution for being in the opposition PDP.
Mr. Abati, a former spokesperson to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan admitted to the EFCC that he received N50 million from the office of the embattled ex-National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, sources at the commission had told PREMIUM TIMES. He, however, said the money was well utilised for media relations. Although he has been granted bail, he is yet to meet his bail conditions.
Mr. Fani-Kayode, a campaign spokesperson for Mr. Jonathan, is also accused of receiving tens of millions of naira from Mr. Dasuki
Mr. Obanikoro, former minister of state for defence, is accused, among others, of using billions of naira of state funds to pursue elections on behalf of the PDP in Ekiti and Osun.