Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, slumped while in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Saturday, his aide has said.
Mr. Fani-Kayode was promptly revived by a team at the EFCC’s medical facility, the minister’s spokesperson, Jude Ndukwe, said in a statement Tuesday.
“But for the quick and professional intervention of the medical team in the EFCC medical facilities, the story could have been different, it could have been fatal!” he said.
“We must commend the medical staff at the Commission’s medical facility. They were prompt in their response, and very impressive in their care. It is very heartwarming to know that some professionals have not allowed the political witch hunt and persecution of political opponents and perceived enemies taint their professional calling. We hope this extends to all facets of the Nigerian society.”
Mr. Fani-Kayode, who served as the director of media and publicity for the Goodluck Jonathan presidential election campaign team in 2015, was arrested on Friday by the EFCC on allegations of corruption. He had earlier been released after being held for 67 days.
The outspoken former minister is currently standing trial for allegedly receiving illicit funds from former National Security Adviser.
He denies wrongdoing, and accuses the Buhari administration of targeting him as part of a wider campaign to silence opposition politicians.
Mr. Ndukwe said Mr. Fani-Kayode’s health condition had been communicated to the EFCC, and blasted the commission for re-arresting him.
“It is therefore shocking that having known these facts, the EFCC still acted in a most unprofessional and crude way by re-arresting a man who has never been known to turn down their invitation even for once, who was since granted administrative bail by the same Commission after meeting the stringent conditions set by them; a man who is also supposed to be on bail as granted by the courts after fulfilling the conditions, and who even has his international passport still lodged with the Commission,” he said.
“Although Chief Femi Fani-Kayode was yet to complete the recovery therapy he was undergoing after spending the initial 67 grueling days in EFCC custody wherein he was also physically attacked by one of the Commission’s agents, in deference to the law and the Commission, he painfully but willingly cut short his therapy and medical checks to attend court proceedings.
“One would have thought that these were enough to convince EFCC that Fani-Kayode was very willing to face his persecutors in court. But rather than be humane in their conduct, EFCC hounded him for the umpteenth time on that fateful Friday and have since kept him in custody.”
Mr. Ndukwe said his principal is now being accused by the EFCC of receiving another N26 million from Mr. Dasuki.
“The fresh charges for which he was said to have been re-arrested were presented to him over the weekend and they border on an alleged N26m which he was accused to have collected from the erstwhile NSA, Sambo Dasuki, and he has since signed for the charges while he waits for his day in court. So, why still detain him if there is no sinister motive behind it all?” he asked.
He warned of consequences if the former minister is harmed.
“From the foregoing, it is obvious that this issue about corruption is nothing but an already exposed façade for the silencing of opposition voices, and keep Fani-Kayode out of circulation as long as practicable since he is seen by many as one of the strongest voices against tyranny, oppression and executive lawlessness.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we reiterate our earlier warning that nothing untoward must happen to Chief Femi Fani-Kayode whether now or in the nearest future. Should anything happen to him, we can assure those responsible that there would be reactions of unimaginable propensity,” he said.