Chief Tony Anenih has said that President Muhammadu Buhari jailed him for 18 months during his military administration, because he was wealthy.
The former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party’s Board of Trustees was in prison between March 1984 and August 1985.
Writing in his biography titled ‘My Life and Nigerian Politics’, which was launched in Abuja over the weekend, Anenih stated that Buhari went about arresting politicians arbitrarily.
He said: “The military regime of General Buhari and Tunde Idiagbon threw me into detention for 18 months on the basis of an anonymous petition that as a prominent and wealthy politician and leader of the NPN in Bendel State, the military administrator would not find his footing unless I was removed from the scene.
“I was sent to Kirikiri Prisons where I spent three months before I was transferred to Ikoyi Prisons.”
The retired police officer, who announced his retirement from politics last week, insists he did not deserve such treatment.
Anenih added: “I must emphasise it again and again that I did nothing wrong to anyone, the government or the state to merit a detention. My crime was that I was a wealthy, influential and highly respected politician.”
He also revealed how some Governors were kept with criminals they had sentenced to death in the same cells.
“We were transferred to Ikoyi Prisons because of the riot that took place while we were there. The condemned prisoners whose death warrants had earlier been signed by Alhaji Lateef Jakande when he was governor of Lagos State, broke loose on sighting him as one of the detainees,” Anenih wrote.
“They broke out of their cells and headed towards the building where Jakande and the rest of us detainees were kept. As the prisoners were attempting to force the iron door open, mobile police were called in to quell the riot.
“Where we were staying, the bucket latrines or toilets had opening to the rooms. These buckets were emptied maybe once a week from behind, and if for any reason the buckets were not emptied once a week as the rule, you lived with the stench.
“At night, cockroaches, rats and lizards passed through these holes housing the bucket latrines into our cells after crawling on the buckets to disturb us. So, you could really not sleep for one hour without getting cockroaches perch on you.”