The National Caretaker Committee Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi, yesterday led members of his committee on a solidarity visit to Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, Senators Musiliu Obanikoro and Bala Mohammed, as well as Dr. Reuben Abati. Fani-Kayode, Obanikoro, Mohammed, and Abati have remained in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja, since their separate arrests on allegations of corruption, over a week ago.
Makarfi was accompanied on the visit by the committee’s secretary, Senator Ben Obi; National Organising Secretary, Senator Abdul Ningi; National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye; Senator Ughesi, and Hajiya Binta Kuraye.
Former presidential aide, Chief Akin Osuntokun, and Mr. Robert Azibaola, a cousin of former President Goodluck Jonathan, also visited the quartet. A source, who spoke in confidence about the visit, said the delegation arrived the detention facility at about 2:30p.m. While assuring the quartet of the party’s support for them, the PDP leaders urged them to keep the faith and stay the course. “They (party leaders) were happy to see that despite their challenges and unwarranted detention, they were strong and in high spirits.
“They urged them to keep the flag flying and that they should be rest assured that the whole of the PDP family is solidly behind them. They told them to keep their heads high and to remain strong,” the source said. In their response, the detained opposition party bigwigs expressed their gratitude over their party’s solidarity, and the courage exhibited by the leadership, to identify with them in their trying times.
The latest visit comes barely a week after the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, as well as the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Rt. Rev. (Dr) Matthew Hassan Kukah, did same, on different occasions. Also, some senators visited the accused on Tuesday night. It will be recalled that the EFCC had arrested Fani-Kayode, who was the Director of Media of the Goodluck Jonathan Presidential Campaign Organisation, within the premises of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.
His detention is in connection with fresh allegations of receiving N26 million from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA). On his part, Obanikoro, who was a Minister of State for Defence in the last administration, is being interrogated on allegations that he got N4.7 billion from the ONSA. While Abati’s case borders on alleged N50 million cash, Mohammed, a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), is answering questions on alleged contract fraud and abuse of office.