Lamido Cries Out From Prison: I’m Being Persecuted Over 2019 Presidency

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After spending 72 hours with his two sons in Kano Central Prison,
immediate past governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, has imputed
political motives to his incarceration.

According to the former governor, he is being persecuted by those who
feel that they would not be able to actualise their presidential ambition
with him around the political arena.

Lamido, who spoke exclusively to Sunday Vanguard through his media
aide, Umar Kyari, yesterday, drew the attention of Nigerians and the
international community to the attempt being made by those he called
“my political enemies” to silence him using the instrumentality of the
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Lamido pointed out that it was clear from the outset that there was a
grand design to put him away in prison for a long time under the guise of
money laundering and sundry charges so as to pave the way for his
political enemies to have their way.

The former governor, whose many supporters relocated to the Kano
Central Prison where they kept vigil over him and his two sons, said he
was determined to prove to Nigerians that he was innocent but was
merely being witch-hunted by those who feel threatened by his rising
political profile.

Lamido’s spokesman said: “This current effort to frame and denigrate
the former governor of Jigawa State with a view to rubbishing his high
performance in office will come to naught at the end of the day.

“Lamido remains nothing but a scion of accountability and integrity who
has always fought on the side of the people, particularly the downtrodden
and the vulnerable, since he came into the national political scene.

“He remains unshaken over the trumped-up charges slammed on him by
the EFCC knowing that he has not committed any offense to warrant
being thrown into the prison over a bailable offense.

“But the refusal by his traducers to grant him and his sons bail when
others charged same day and time for even more grievous offences were
admitted to bail speaks volume of the intention and mindset of those who
are after him.

“Nonetheless, Sule Lamido strongly believes that, after being imprisoned
several times all in a bid to pave the way for sustained democracy in
Nigeria, the current effort by the EFCC and others to humiliate him and
his family over the so-called money laundering charges will not break
his resolve to continue to fight on the side of the people.

“It is Lamido’s strong belief that having not committed any offense
against the state to warrant being sent to prison, he and his two sons will
be freed and vindicated against the wicked plot of their adversaries”.

Meanwhile, Lamido is said to have been overwhelmed by the large
number of friends and well wishers from across Nigeria who have
thronged the prison to show solidarity with him and his two sons.

A close source at the prison told Sunday Vanguard that Lamido was
jolted by the show of love and solidarity that he shed what the source
described as “tears of joy” on Friday.

The former governor reportedly came out on Friday afternoon in one of
his best attires to the office of the prison controller with a view to getting
close to all those who had thronged the prison yard to see him.

Sunday Vanguard learnt last night that Lamido and sons were likely to be
admitted to bail tomorrow (Monday) as a vacation judge was most likely
to hear their bail application on that day.

A source said Lamido’s associates had already prepared in many ways to
meet whatever conditions the judge might stipulate for their release from
prison pending the hearing of the case in September.

Lamido and his two sons, according to the charge sheet of the EFCC after
what the anti-graft agency described as a thorough investigation, alleged
during the arraignment of the accused persons at a Federal High Court
sitting in Kano, that they laundered N1.35 billion.

They were slammed with a 28-count charge bordering on criminal breach
of trust.

The trial judge, Justice Evelyn Anyadike, adjourned the case till
September 28 while ordering that the suspects be remanded in Kano
Prison.

Anyadike, however, ruled that the case will be handed over to a vacation
judge to listen to the accused persons bail application while the judiciary
goes on vacation today.

Source: Vanguard

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