On Thursday, a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode officially returned to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Fani-Kayode was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, by the Chairman of APC National Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni.
This is despite the disparaging remarks he had made about the APC and Buhari.
Two years ago when it was rumoured that the former Minister had joined the APC, he completely ruled out the possibility of defecting to the ruling party.
At the time, he described the ruling party as “a filthy, rat-infested sinking ship.”
He also referred to the party as “darkness” and “the Almajiri Peoples Congress (APC)”.
He had said, “The suggestion that l joined the APC is false and insulting. Those that are peddling this fake news should bury their heads in shame. With what we have witnessed, l would rather die than join a filthy, rat-infested sinking ship like the Almajiri Peoples Congress (APC).”
Since Thursday, the discredited minister has suffered a backlash from Nigerians and politicians both from the opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party and APC.
Meanwhile, in 2013, Fani-Kayode had claimed he had Fulani Blood in him. In a report by Premium Times dated April 17, 2013, Fani-Kayode said his grandfather, Sheik Nurudeen Sa’ I’d was half Fulani and half Yoruba.
He said at the time: “My maternal grandfather was a great and powerful Muslim cleric and scholar by the name of Sheik Nurudeen Sa’ Id. He was from Ilesha. He was also a civil servant and he spent a good deal of his adult life in Lagos. His father, that is my maternal great-grandfather, was a pure Yoruba man from Ilesha. However his mother, that is my maternal great-grandmother, was a pure Fulani woman from Sokoto.
“My grandfather, Sheik Nurudeen Sa’ I’d, who was half Fulani and half Yoruba, got married to my grandmother, Alhaja Abeke Sa’ id (nee Williams) who was a pure Yoruba woman. She was also known as ”Mama Ofin”. She was from Lagos (Isale Eko) and she was the daughter of Alhaji Isa Williams who was a key leader in the Muslim community and the richest businessman and trader in the whole of Lagos in his day.
“Sheik Nurudeen Sa’id and Alhaja Abeke Sa’id had three children and the youngest of those three was my dear mother, Mrs. Adia Adunni Fani-Kayode (nee Sa’id). She was born into a Muslim family and she practised Islam all her life until she met my father, converted to Christianity and then they got married.
“It is clear from the foregoing that my mother had one quarter Fulani blood in her and I have one eight Fulani blood in me. Out of respect to the Muslim side of my family, that is the Sa’ id’s and the Williams’, all of my father’s children have Muslim names as well as Christian ones. Mine is Abdulateef.
“Amazing isn’t it? When some say that I am anti-Islam and anti-Hausa-Fulani I just laugh. They know little about me, my heritage, my bloodlines (which, unlike most, I take very seriously), my background or my thought processes.
”I am a proud son of Nigeria- a son of the soil-and I have deep ancestral and spiritual roots in at least two of the three great Abrahamic faiths even though I and my immediate family are practicing Pentecostal Christians. I have Ife, Ijesha, Egba, Isale Eko and Fulani blood running through my veins.
“This is my heritage and I am very proud of each and every one of those bloodlines. The fact that I can trace my lineage and my bloodlines to Ife, Ilesha, Abeokuta, Lagos and Sokoto emboldens, enriches and strengthens me. The fact that some members of my family are Christians and others are Muslims excites and ennobles me.
“I am a true Nigerian and regardless of our numerous challenges in this country I will love and live in Nigeria till the day I die.”
In 2015, Fani-Kayode wrote an article titled, “The herdsmen from hell” published in the Vanguard newspaper.
In the article, he described Fulani herdsmen as “marauders”, ”vandals”, “pests" and others.
Fani-Kayode also wrote: “Can there be any truth in the assertion that the Fulani herdsmen are nothing less than the vanguard and covertly armed wing of the Fulani ruling class which has managed to infiltrate the south under the ingenious guise of selling cows?”
Although Fani-Kayode said he returned to the APC for the unity of the country, SaharaReporters gathered that he defected over his corruption cases with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Fani-Kayode was arraigned in 2016, alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenadi Usman; Danjuma Yusuf, and a firm, Joint Trust Dimensions Ltd over N4.9bn alleged fraud.
The former minister, who was also the Director of Publicity for ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential campaign organisation for the 2015 election, was accused of conspiring with the others to, directly and indirectly, retain various sums which the EFCC claimed they ought to have reasonably known were proceeds of crime.
In one of the counts, the defendants were accused of conspiring among themselves to “indirectly retain the sum of N1,500,000,000.00 which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: stealing.”
The four were also accused of indirectly retaining N300 million, N400 million and N800 million, all proceeds of corruption, according to the EFCC.
Fani-Kayode was accused of directly using parts of the money at various times, including N250,650,000.00, which he allegedly used between March 20 and 25, 2015.
He was also accused of making a cash transaction of N24 million with one Olubode Oke, said to still be at large, on February 12, 2015 “to Paste Poster Co of 125, Lewis Street, Lagos Island.”
The duo were said to have made the transaction without going through any financial institution, an act the EFCC claimed was contrary to sections 1(a) and 16(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012, and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.
Months later, the former minister was rearrested and solely arraigned on five counts bordering on money laundering to the tune of N26 million.
According to the EFCC, Fani-Kayode allegedly received the sum of N26 million from the office of the former National Security Adviser (ONSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.) in 2014.