*Demands immediate freedom for SENATOR SHEHU SANI:
The leading civil Rights Advocacy group – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has condemned the undue manifestation of arbitrariness by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the matter involving the former senator representing Kaduna Central Senator SHEHU SANI and the Kaduna businessman Alhaji Sani Dauda.
In a media statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) accused the EFCC of discrimination in the treatment of Senator Shehu Sani apparently because of his status as a well-known critic of President Muhammadu Buhari which may have informed his continued arbitrary detention.
“Why is the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) refusing to grant bail to this well-known civil Rights activist and politician Senator Shehu Sani? Why is his own matter different when there are a plethora of instances of politicians of all political persuasions who have been invited by the anti-graft body, interrogated and released on bail. Even the disgraced erstwhilst secretary to the government of the federation Mr. Babachir Lawal allegedly implicated in the multi-million contract scam related to the fund of the internally displaced persons of the North East of Nigeria, never spent up to six hours with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. But Senator Shehu Sani who has maintained his innocence of the accusations leveled against him by one person, is still being kept in detention without the anti-graft body either filing charges or releasing him on bail.”
Besides, the Rights group believes that the arrest and detention of Senator Shehu Sani known for his persistent but constructive criticism of the failings of the current All Progressives Congress – led Federal government is progressively revealing to be without reasonable cause and the trends are increasingly manifesting that he may after all be a political hostage or prisoner of conscience which contravenes all known municipal and international human rights laws. May we by this medium inform President Muhammadu Buhari that all human beings including his critics such as Senator Shehu Sani have the right to liberty and security. It is imperative that Senator Shehu Sani is released immediately from the arbitrary arrest and detention because irrespective of their treaty obligations, all states are bound by international law to respect and ensure everybody’s right to liberty and security of the person and this is obviously a universal legal responsibility which the Nigerian state must uphold at all times. Article 9(1) of the international covenant on civil and political Rights provides that: “Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.” The continuous detention of Senator Shehu Sani without any kind of reasonable cause is unconstitutional and illegal. The discriminatory denial of even administrative bail to him is a violation of section 42(1) of the Nigerian constitution. Section 42(1) states as follows: “A citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person:- (a) be subjected either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any executive or administrative action of the government, to disabilities or restrictions to which citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions are not made subject; or (b) be accorded either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any such executive or administrative action, any privilege or advantage that is not accorded to citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions.”
HURIWA recalled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission around December ending last year confirmed the arrest of the former senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani and that he is now being quizzed in our Jabi headquarters in Abuja.
HURIWA quoting information released to the media by the EFCC According Senator SHEHU SANI allegedly collected money from the chairman and CEO of ASD Motors, his namesake Sani Dauda, under the pretense of passing it as bribe to EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu.
Sani Dauda was a former chairman of Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited (PAN). His ASD Motors is a major car dealer in Abuja.
However, HURIWA disclosed that from a written statement sent to it by the detained Senator through his office, he has categorically denied all the allegations and accused the EFCC of attempting to rope him into a phantom charge of criminality. HURIWA affirmed thus: Senator SHEHU SANI has just denied all the allegations as follows:
• The allegations of “extortion” against me are baseless, fact less, unfounded, hollow and unsubstantial.
• It is a scripted stream of mischievous concoctions and utter fabrications using a puppet state agent; all aimed at splashing feaces and mud on me.
• The extortion allegation is nothing but a wholesale falsehood, packaged in a phantom anti-graft facade to taint, stain and mute me. That shall never happen if I am alive.
• I have made my statement and provided all my facts against their package of lies and I demand the EFCC to make public all the sheets of our statements and supporting documents for the world to see.
• My detention is unfair, unjust, prearranged and politically motivated.
• Alhaji Sani Dauda and his hidden sponsors have not been able to provide any proof of their allegations. I’m unjustly incarcerated on the ground of an arranged two page petition backed with no evidential or documentary proof.
• Fascism thrives in frame up of its critics.
• They claim extortion and here they are closing my bank accounts, searching my houses and offices and demanding I declare my assets of which I have already done that at the CCB last year when I left the senate.
• Frame up cannot silence me!!!
• I have never ever met with the CJN or any judge or judges or ever called directly or indirectly to offer to give or to give directly or indirectly any form of gratification from Alhaji Sani Dauda.
• I have never ever discussed with ASD on any form of bribe or gratification to be given to any judge or any EFCC official.
• The bribe story is phantom, the bribe story is a fake, imaginative work of fiction, cruelly crafted to smear me, to frame me and to justify my persecution.
• The bribe story is a heap of blatant lies and outright falsehood concocted and fabricated, using a front and the EFCC to premiere a state drama.
• ASD is a barely educated front for a state mission.
• Criminalizing me or “framing me” will not silence me, bend me or compromise me.