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Lagos, NG
7th December 2019

Tunde Ayeni neither poisoned nor dead-EFCC

Tunde Ayeni neither poisoned nor dead-EFCC
Tunde Ayeni neither poisoned nor dead-EFCC(via-IG/officialefcc)

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has released a statement refuting Newspaper report that its operatives poisoned Tunde Ayeni, the former chairman of the defunct Skye Bank, while in their custody.

The anti-graft agency called the report which was alleged to have been reported by popular Nigerian Newspaper, false and the general public should disregard such fake news.

The allegation which was published by the said Nigerian Newspaper, was said to have allegedly emanated from the spokesperson of an opposition group, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) CUPP, Mr Ikenga Ugochinyere.

The CUPP alleged that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) secretly arrested a former Chairman of Skye Bank Plc, Mr. Tunde Ayeni, who is a close ally of the consensus opposition candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

The statement reads:

“We categorically warn that nothing should happen to Mr. Tunde Ayeni to silence him so that the truth of how the family and cronies of President Buhari acquired Skye Bank will not eventually be known by Nigerians.

“If the EFCC Chairman in his usual over-zealousness to please the President has begun the government agenda of also stuffing Nigerians into body bags, then the international community is hereby called upon to place him on close and careful watch and list his name for possible prosecution for crimes against humanity.”

The Coalition also revealed in the statement that the EFCC has been handed down a list of 45 opposition leaders to invite, arrest, detain and restraint before the opening of polls on February 16.

Those in the list, according to the CUPP, include Alhaji Sule Lamido, Sen. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Hon. Luke Onofiok, Bukola Saraki, Osita Chidoka, Ikenga Imo ugochinyere, Chief Achike Udenwa, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, Mr. Abba Moro, Hon. Gabriel Suswam, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema and a host of others.

“All this intimidation will not help a President who has been rejected by the people. Arrest everybody, put us all in body bags, but Nigerians have a date with destiny on 16th February to reclaim our country and get it working again,” the CUPP asserted.

EFCC in refuting the claims and publication said:

“The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has been drawn to a report in Thisday newspaper of Saturday, February 9 with the headline: “EFCC Has Poisoned Tunde Ayeni in Custody, Allege Opposition Parties.” We urge the public not to be swayed by the rumour but treat it with the disregard it thoroughly deserves.”

“Given that the intention of this false alarm is to incite public opinion against the Commission, we found it compelling to state in no unclear terms that Mr Ayeni upon arrest and conveyance to the Commission was neither offered food nor drink by our operatives.

“There was also nothing consumable: food, drink or water that was brought to him within the brief period he was with his interrogators. When he complained of illness and opted to see a doctor, he was promptly obliged.

“We also wish to state that so far, there has not been any report of any dire health condition on Mr Ayeni and it’s likely there would not be. The public may wish to know that the Commission in the course of its duties has become conversant with all manners of theatrics from some suspects who would elect not to cooperate.

“It is also our desire to inform the CUPP that as a Commission, we follow due process, and that we are a law-abiding entity and as such, will not keep Ayeni longer than required by law. We also give our word that he will have his day in court as and when due.

“It is important at this point that we restate that the Commission under the leadership of its Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu is well insulated from going-ons in the political space and that our mandate is well cut out for us by constitution.

“We therefore wish to clarify that Ayeni as former Chairman of the failed Skye Bank has allegations of corruption to thrash out with us. It was strictly for this purpose that he became our guest.

“Any other consideration outside this is unknown to us. Again, much as we find the claim of being handed a list of 45 opposition figures “to invite, arrest, detain and restrain before the opening of polls on February 16,” as contained in the CUPP release utterly nonsensical, we note that it is a grave disservice to the country at this material time for anyone to seek to aggravate the heat in political space with a reckless rumour such as this from the CUPP”.

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