Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka has voiced his fears over the safety of Olu Agunloye, the former Minister of Power and Steel, following his remand at the Kuje correctional facility by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Agunloye faced charges of fraud on Wednesday as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned him at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Apo.
Soyinka, through his spokesperson Jahman Anikulapo, said that Agunloye’s imprisonment raises “justifiable, high-level concerns for his safety”.
Drawing a parallel, Soyinka referenced the unsolved murder of Agunloye’s predecessor, Bola Ige, in his bedroom, underscoring the lingering threat in such situations.
“Dr. Olu Agunloye, we learn, was finally charged to court today. The case was adjourned, and the presiding judge, in his or her wisdom, proceeded to remand the accused in Kuje prison, pending resumption of his case,” the statement reads.
“I wish to alert the nation, and the government that there exists a justifiable, high-level concern for his safety.
“I have made it clear, even as recently as a few weeks ago, that Bola Ige’s murder was not unconnected with the Mambilla scam. Olu Agunloye worked closely with me, both within and outside routine police motions, to unmask Ige’s killers.
“It would therefore amount to unpardonable complacency to propose that there are no forces sufficiently desperate to accord him the same fate as Bola Ige. That goal is made easier by the abrupt decision to remand him in prison.”
The Nobel laureate urged the establishment of “an independent, non-partisan commission to probe at length and in-depth, in public settings, this scandal of expanding dimensions that has crippled the energy needs of a nation of two hundred million citizens over the past two decades. The latest development is sinister and alarming.”
Soyinka cautioned, “Let it be understood that if anything happens to this pivotal witness while in custody, the inference will be heard loud, clear, and unambiguous.”