My EFCC ordeal started during presidential election – Iwu

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A former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Maurice Iwu, has said his ordeal with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission started on February 23 during the presidential election.

Iwu said the operatives of the anti-graft agency prevented him from voting that day by seizing his passport.

The ex-INEC boss who made the claims in a statement he personally signed on Thursday said he hoped to triumph at the end of his prosecution.

“The journey I have found myself on began brewing on February 23, 2019 when I was deprived of my civic duty of voting in the presidential election as a result of the EFCC investigations. From the seizure of my international passport that February till this recent ordeal with actual charges and detention, God’s goodness has remained manifest as I recite Te Deum in thanksgiving.

“I want to thank Nigerians both at home and in the diaspora for their enormous show of concern, support and the spiritual discipline (for not crucifying me before my day in the court of law). My gratitude goes to Ndi Igbo, umu Imo, Okigwe indigenes (both at home and abroad), and clerics from various denominations, especially of the Catholic faith, which I belong to. The support was not just in words of encouragement but more in actions of prayers; for in it all, the glory of God was made manifest. Though I ask the same question Ps. 4:2a stated, “How long, oh men will you turn my glory into shame?’

“Whenever persecution comes my way, I become more aware that God does not forsake His own indeed, and I’m encouraged by Ps. 34:19 ‘Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all’.”

He added that “For despite the challenges, I bow in honour and humility the grace God has offered and continued to afford me and my family.

“More than ever before, with what I have passed through within the last months, I embrace the ever-reassuring grace and presence of the Holy Spirit, which affords my soul to appreciate the professionalism and dignity of many of the staff and persons at the EFCC detention centre, judiciary and the Ikoyi prisons. It could only be God.”

He urged Nigerians to be patient, saying the trial would give him the opportunity to tell his side of the story.

“It is noteworthy that none of the charges against me has to do with my tenure as Chairman of INEC. And to the scientific community, please be assured that this would not negatively affect the several ongoing work by Bioresources Institute of Nigeria (BION) in contributing to the discovery and development of phytomedicines for tropical and emergent diseases, and the use of our world-class research facility for the standardisation of African Medicinal Plants,” he said.

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