OPINION: Is Shehu Sani Guilty or the Latest Target of APC Politicians’ Attempt to Stifle Opposition and Dissent?
As a criminal defense attorney and criminal law tutor/teacher for years, I think this allegation is too straightforward to be true.
I may be wrong but my first instinct is that Shehu Sani won’t be so daft to commit this or any other crime in such a transparent manner. He is smart and knows that politicians especially in Kaduna are out to destroy him. So he’ll play safe especially with EFCC. The alleged facts are:
a) He collected $10k from an EFCC suspect by claiming that he’d bribe Mr. Magu with the sum. If you leave the gravity of the claim aside, the sum in question is too little for someone who, until a few months ago, was paid humongous sums as a senator.
b) As if to leave a clear trail, he accepted a cheque. Elite criminals & unscrupulous politicians never do cheque. They do cash, mostly using proxies. They may not be lawyers, but they know that a paper is the best way to nail a suspect and a cheque is the best paper trail.
c) That when he was first arrested, he admitted guilt and even returned the sum. Yet, curiously, he was granted bail by EFCC. Given how Shehu Sani is critical of government, I believe EFCC would have arraigned him immediately after his alleged admission and return of exhibit.
Even more curious is how, after admitting guilt and returning the loot, Shehu Sani had the guts to refuse to obey EFCC directions. This sounds like shouting at (even slapping) an armed robber who has pinned a loaded gun at your head. Only a full-brown madman will do that.
We don’t have Shehu Sani’s version yet. But we know one thing for sure: EFCC is savvy at destroying political opponents government critics; they would arrest their political suspects around holidays to deny them immediate access to their lawyers, the media and the court.
They’d use that period to destroy their victims with deliberate leaks to the media and anonymous interviews. They’d hurry them to court with jaw-dropping charges to diminish chances of immediate bail and get more headlines and… abandon the case after a few months.
This may very well be the drama we are about watch. But, again, I maybe wrong even though I strongly feel it is pretty easy to see right through this prima facie trumped up, politicaly-motivated, terribly scripted allegations. So let’s wait and see.
Audu Bulama Bukarti writes from Bayero University, Kano.