…Says actions designed to thwart presidential ambition
A political pressure group, the Amalgamated South South Forum, has condemned the alleged continued intimidation of the former two-time Governor of Kano State, Dr. Ibrahim Shekarau, by the antigraft agency, the EFCC.
They also questioned why after being invited 24 months ago without any incriminating evidence against him, Dr. Shekarau should once again be invited for a questioning they say will still not throw up anything.
Spokesman of the group, Hon. Frank Oriyebo, who read a communique issued at the end of its emergency meeting, claimed the invitation of the former minister of education was designed to thwart his 2019 presidential ambition.
Oriyebo said: “The mention of Shekarau’s name that he collected N25 million from the campaign fund for former President Goodluck Jonathan, allegedly shared in the former governor’s residence in Kano is a ploy to ambush him from joining the 2019 race.
“There has been a relentless combing of the activities of Shekarau in the eight years that he was the governor of Kano State, but have to their chagrin found no shred of incriminating evidence against him.”
According to the forum, “Shekarau left an indelible record as the governor of Kano State. He also left a remarkably untainted track record as the Minister of Education. Shekarau so far has been unblemished as a public servant.”
“We urge that Shekarau be left alone. Nigerians know better. Enough is enough. No amount of intimidation and harassment will derail Shekarau from contesting for the Presidency in 2019.”
Shekarau had told journalists at the news conference: “What happened to me could happen to anybody and it was only Godly for me to accept my fate, good or bad. I am prepared to spend 10 years in EFCC’s custody to prove my Innocence.”
Shekarau narrated: “I and the person who indicted me went to the EFCC. I challenged him before the EFCC to prove the allegation, but in his response said, since it was directed that every top PDP member in the state should be given N25 million and that he had received his own share, he assumed that I was also given my own share.”
“Then I told the EFCC that even if it is one naira that I was accused of collecting, I will not pay until it is proved. Whoever gave me the money should come out and explain where, when and how he gave it to me, and anything short of that, I am ready to stay with the EFCC for 10 years until the allegation is proved.”
The former governor emphasised: “The EFCC searched my house and did not find anything incriminating against me. I did not receive N25 million from anyone.”
Shekarau, who was a founding member of ruling All Progressiveuhs Congress, APC, had decamped to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, few months to the general elections in 2015.
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