Former Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Kingsley Kuku, has said the Department of State Services (DSS) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are out to punish him for his perceived role in the 2015 elections.
The former presidential adviser, in a statement yesterday, accused the agencies of deploying extra-legal means to deal with him rather than wait for the legal process to run its course.
He debunked insinuations he absconded to the United States to evade arrest, saying he travelled in July 2015 for a pre-scheduled medical examination and had to undergo a surgery on his knee.
“I was already in hospital when news got to me that I had been invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for allegedly misappropriating funds during my tenure as chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
“In my condition, I could not honour the invitation, but my lawyer wrote to the commission on my behalf, formally informing it of my absence from the country and my promise to honour the invitation when I complete my medical procedure and fully recuperated.
“The EFCC, however, responded with threats and harassment, which began with freezing of the bank account of the Keketobou Foundation, an educational and charity non-governmental organisation I set up in honour of my mother.
“This was followed by the arrest and detention of some former workers of the Amnesty Office, after which two of them were arraigned for refusing to implicate me in their statements.
“I was left with no other option than to approach the court to seek protection and enforcement of my fundamental human rights.
“On April 5, 2016, Justice Okon Abang sitting at the Federal High Court, Lagos, restrained the EFCC, DSS, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Immigration, Customs, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), police and other security and investigative agencies, from arresting, detaining or prosecuting me, pending the determination of an appeal on an earlier ruling on February 17, 2016.
“Justice Valentine Ashi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, in February 2016, gave a similar restraining order. These orders subsist as the appeal before the Appeal Court, Lagos Division has not been determined.
“But in outright violation of these orders, I have become a victim of the ongoing unhealthy rivalry between the EFCC and the DSS, where I am being subjected to the worst form of media trial and have been serially libelled.
“There were reports that the DSS accused the EFCC of shielding me from prosecution. But I stated earlier why I’m yet to return to the country and it’s not true the EFCC is shielding me from prosecution.
“The DSS claimed that it was investigating me for acts bordering on economic sabotage and pipeline destruction, but I wonder where this came from because I have never been invited by the service. I’m a patriotic Nigerian, who, for over a decade, rendered selfless and committed service to Nigeria at different levels. I cannot turn around to destroy a house I co-built. Let posterity be the judge of my service.”