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Fani-Kayode: Boko Haram suspects were my bodyguards in prison

Fani-Kayode: Boko Haram suspects were my bodyguards in prison
November 16
22:06 2016

Femi Fani-Kayode, director of media and publicity of the presidential campaign of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says Boko Haram suspects were his bodyguards during his detention at Kuje Prison.

Fani-Kayode, who regained freedom two days ago after 21 days in custody, spoke of an encounter which made him shed tears in Kuje, where he spent the last four days of his detention.

He was under the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) until a judge of the federal high court, Abuja ordered that he should be remanded him in Kuje until he fulfilled the condition of the N50 million bail granted to him.

Narrating his experience in an article titled, ‘Head bloodied but not bowed and the ascension of President-Elect Donald Trump’, Fani-Kayode maintained that his detention was illegal.

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“On October 21st, five days after my 56th birthday, I was arrested by the EFCC without an arrest warrant at the premises of the Federal High Court in Lagos where I had been earlier granted bail. Thereafter I was illegally detained by them without any detention order for 21 days,” he wrote.

“Kindly note that this was after I had been detained by them for a grueling 67 days,  I was brought before the Federal High Court in Lagos, arraigned on spurious and politically-motivated charges and locked up in Ikoyi prison for a number of days whilst I attempted to perfect my court bail.

“After perfecting bail, on 21st October I was re-arrested and the whole nightmare began again: only this time it was far more insidious and worse.

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“Throughout the time of the second detention I was kept in a dingy underground cell at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja where I met a number of other high profile opposition figures.

“During the course of my 21 day incarceration my abductors did not ask me any questions or say one word to me other than to formally serve me with a new set of fresh criminal charges the morning after I got there which I simply signed for.

“After that I heard nothing from them and I was told nothing though I had daily visits to the medical clinic at the EFCC due to my deteriorating health.

“Three weeks later, on November 10th, I was brought before the Federal High Court in Abuja and arraigned on yet another set of spurious, baseless and politically-motivated charges.

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“These ones were even more ridiculous and far-fetched than the first set in Lagos. I was falsely accused of receiving 26 million naira cash from the former National Security Advisor, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, for media work for the Jonathan administration in 2014.

“Thankfully I was granted bail by the court and I was detained at Kuje prison for a further 4 days whilst I attempted to perfect my bail.

“At Kuje I was kept in the terrorist wing of the prison which was built by the British government specifically for Boko Haram convicts and suspects.”

Fani-Kayode said he was surprised to find out that the suspects were disciplined. He said though the place was scary, “the Lord went ahead with me”.

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“There were 47 of them in the facility and I was with them throughout. These were tough, disciplined, hardened, surprisingly well-educated and intimidating men,” he wrote.

“The single cells and the entire terrorist section of the prison was pervaded by an eerie silence throughout the night and low tone whispers throughout the day. The only thing that broke the monotony of silence was the regular and constant call to Muslim prayers and the loud and regular cries of “Allahu Akbar”.

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“This was a frightful place and those that were locked up there were very dangerous and frightful people yet thankfully the Lord went ahead of me.

“The single cells, though small, were clean, self-contained, well-ventilated, dry and very neat. The inmates were surprisingly very kind and friendly towards me and turned out to be my best friends and bodyguards whenever I toured the other parts of the prison.

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“I was very impressed with them and when I heard their stories and what some of them had been subjected to by the security forces and the state tears came to my eyes.

“Most of those men were not Boko Haram killers but had been falsely accused, tortured and just dumped into prison and I felt nothing but pain and sorrow when I heard their stories.”

He also revealed that he met Nnamdi Kalu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), and that they held meetings, which his “bodyguards” attended.

He said the Boko Haram suspects escorted him to church.

“When I went to visit the great and brilliant freedom fighter, Nnamdi Kanu, who is the leader of IPOB and easily the most courageous, powerful and credible Igbo leader in Nigeria today in his cell we had a very instructive and long discussion,” he wrote.

“I had never met Nnamdi before and I was amazed at his depth of knowledge, his immense courage and his deep convictions.

“There is no doubt in my mind that that man is going places and in him the Igbo have an Ojukwu and a Nnamdi Azikiwe all rolled into one. He is destined for greatness.

“My Boko Haram friends accompanied me to that meeting, drew a ten man security cordon around me when we entered the general population of the prison and waited outside as Nnamdi and I spoke for almost three hours.

“They even accompanied me to Church on Sunday and waited outside until we finished.

“Given what I have written about Boko Haram in the past and given my total aversion to any form of violence, terrorism and radical Islam, this was a classic case of God granting me favour before my enemies.

“Everyone dreaded them in that prison but I am proud to say that they were my friends and I will never forget their courage, kindness and fellowship for the rest of my life.”

1 Comment

  1. Desmond
    Desmond November 17, 09:20

    FFK you missed an opportunity! You missed an opportunity to preach to them and to convert them to Christian faith.

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