By Inibehe Effiong
I had a conversation today with Fejiro Oliver, his family and lawyer. I can now intimate us of the following facts: Fejiro was arraigned before a Magistrate who drafted three count charges against him which includes “intimidation” and “extortion”. He pleaded not guilty to the three counts and was remanded in Niger State Medium Prison until the 14th October, 2014.
The family had briefed a lawyer since Tuesday 23rd, 2014 who proceeded to Minna, Niger State the same day and is currently taking legal steps to secure the release of Fejiro from prison custody. Fejiro while discussing with me on phone did not only assert his innocence but laughed at the concocted and fabricated allegations leveled against him by the DSS and the Niger State Government though he is concern that some disgruntled elements may seek to rely on same to tarnish his image. He has challenged the DSS to make public the evidence that he ever demanded or attempted to extort any sum of money from any official of the Niger State Government.
He equally narrated how many of the journalists who came to cover the media briefing by the DSS on Monday 22 September, 2014 engaged the DSS in a heated argument as they saw no basis for his arrest. One of the DSS officer then pushed him into a waiting vehicle to avoid further communication with the media.
He insisted that the trump-up charges were brought up after his arrest because he rejected the directive to discontinue his reports on his investigations into the corrupt activities of the Niger State. It might interest us to know that the corrupt practices which he unravelled and which are backed by documentary evidence is up to the tune of N40 billion. This explains why the Niger State Government is seeking retrieval of documents in his possession and insisting that he should discontinue his reports. This is the core issue.
Nigerians should understand that it takes very few men to blow the whistle in this country. Those who dare do this are often targeted for attacks, assassination, persecutions. Fejiro Oliver is being haunted not because he stole government money, or attempted to extort money from government officials but because he refused to play along and dance to the tunes of those bleeding our country to death. Fejiro appreciates the efforts of Nigerians who are campaigning for his freedom.
Meanwhile, his lawyer is expected to address the media tomorrow Thursday 24th September, 2014 in Minna, Niger State.”