Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) operatives yesterday searched former Aviation Minister Femi Fani-Kayode’s Abuja home.
The ex-Minister is in custody in connection with the N2.5billion illegally withdrawn from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and paid into the accounts of six chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Goodluck Support Group (GSG).
Fani-Kayode allegedly got about N840million from the funds which were pumped into the 2015 presidential campaign.
The search was said to have followed intelligence reports on some of the issues emerging from the grilling of the ex-minister.
Although there was no official statement from the EFCC, a source said: “Such a search is routine in the course of conducting this type of investigation.”
A statement by Jude Ndukwe, the Special Assistant on Media to the ex-Minister, said the search was conducted without any warrant.
The statement said: “Earlier today, the EFCC invaded the residence of Chief Femi Fani-Kayode even when he was still in their custody.
“What miffed us most was their mode of operation which was forceful, provocative and dangerous as they wielded their guns with needless threats.
”The worst is that the invasion was without a warrant as they forced their way in, and after terrifying all the staff at home, including the infant, they whisked the laundry man away even though he was later released.
“This is the fourth time the EFCC operatives would be invading Chief Fani-Kayode’s residence in just under a week.
“We condemn this act of executive lawlessness, harassment and intimidation. Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has served this country even at the highest levels and he deserves some courtesy.
“We call on the EFCC to endeavour to carry out their functions within the ambit of our laws and stop brazenly betraying the fact that Chief Fani-Kayode is under persecution. The world is watching!”
The EFCC last night denied insinuations that its chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, acted in contempt of a court order over a fundamental human rights matter by an Austrian businessman, Wolfgang Reini.
A statement by the Head of Media of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said the anti-graft agency had filed an appeal against the order in question.
The statement said: “The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been drawn to media reports on May 12, 2016 accusing its chairman, Ibrahim Magu, of refusing to obey an order of court in the fundamental right enforcement action brought against the Commission by an Austrian businessman, Wolfgang Reinl, who is being investigated for his role in the now infamous $2.1 billion arms deal scandal.
“Contrary to the insinuations in the media, there is no disobedience to any court order by the EFCC and its chairman as the commission had since May 9, 2016 filed a notice of appeal at the appellate court challenging the April 20, 2016 ruling by Justice Peter Affen of the Federal Capital Territory High Court.
“The appeal thus nullifies any claim of contempt.
“It is trite law that judgement cannot be enforced in the face of an appeal.
In the Nigerian legal system, an appellant has 90 days to appeal a judgement it deems inappropriate and wrong. That window is still open to the EFCC.”