- According to the latest report by the EFCC, Governor Ayodele Fayose, his wife and some key aides are to be probed following allegations of financial fraud
- The anti-graft body had written to some of the banks believed to be operated by the governor and his aides, asking them to release statements of his financial transactions
- However, the EFCC has disowned an earlier report published on its official Twitter page which threatened the governor with imminent probe
One of Nigeria's top anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has commenced the investigation of Ayodele Fayose, the governor of Ekiti state, his wife, Feyisetan Fayose, and some of his key aides.
Others being investigated are Lere Olayinka, spokesperson to the governor, Toyin Ojo, the state’s commissioner for finance, Oluyemisi Owolabi, the state’s accountant general, The Cable reports.
Sources reveal that the EFCC is attempting to nail the governor, his wife, and members of his cabinets on claims of money laundering and abuse of office.
Some of the letters dated Friday, July 20, and addressed to the managing director and the chief compliance officer of one of the banks indicated that the EFCC is also probing the governor for abuse of office.
The EFCC listed four bank accounts being operated by Fayose and about five accounts in the same bank, being run by his wife, Feyisetan Helen O. Fayose.
It was also revealed that similar letters were sent to other top banks in Nigeria, where the governor and his aides run personal transactions.
Some of the letters referenced “CR:3000/EFCC/ABJ/EG-TA/VOL.57/254” and “CR:3000/EFCC/ABJ/EG-TA/VOL.57/258” requested that the banks’ compliance officers should report at the EFCC economic governance section on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 — 10 days after the just concluded Ekiti elections.
Insiders also revealed that the banks were asked to present the details of accounts of the governor and his loyalists, including their; statements of accounts, bank verification, and any other relevant information that may help the investigation.
After the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost the July 14 elections in Ekiti state, the EFCC official Twitter handle tweeted that the anti-graft agency was coming after Fayose to explain his role in the alleged N1.3 billion fraud, as filed by the EFCC in 2005.
The tweet read: “The parri is over, the cloak of immunity torn apart, and the staff broken. #Ekiti Integrated Poultry Project Biological Concepts Limited N1.3bn fraud case file dusted off the shelves. See you soon.” The EFCC disowned the tweet, saying it does not represent the views of the agency.
Wilson Uwujaren, the spokesman of the EFCC, stated: “in the opinion of most commentators, the tweet betrayed the partisanship of the EFCC in the political contest in Ekiti state”.
“Against the background, the commission is constrained to state that the purported tweet does not represent the views of the EFCC. As a law enforcement organisation the commission is apolitical and was not involved in the recent Ekiti election.
“While it is true that there is a subsisting criminal charge against governor Fayose, the fate of the charge will be determined by the federal high court, Ado Ekiti, at the expiration of his tenure, not the EFCC.”
Olayinka, Fayose’s spokesperson, who is also being investigated, replied the EFCC, asking the agency to apologise for the “inglorious tweet”.
On his Twitter page, Olayinka said: “Just read that @officialEFCC has disowned its inglorious tweet about @GovAyoFayose and I wish to ask if EFCC has also disowned the twitter handle. Methinks EFCC must go beyond mere disowning the tweet and explain to Nigerians what informed it and tender unreserved apology.”
In September 2017, the commissioner of finance and the accountant general of the state, were arrested by the EFCC.
Uwujaren said: “They were picked up following their refusal to honour previous invitations for interrogation in relation to pending investigation on the misuse of bailout funds by the Ayodele Fayose administration.”
The governor is said to have other allegations to answer, some of which are misuse of bailout funds, electoral fraud from the 2014 governorship election (EkitiGate), and the initial N1.3 billion poultry fraud.
Earlier, NAIJ.com reported that a former commissioner for finance and economic development in Ekiti state, Dapo Kolawole, had called on the EFCC to launch an investigation into some projects being executed by Fayose.
NAIJ.com gathered that Kolawole said the anti-graft agency should investigate the Ikere township road project in the state.
Ekiti 2018: Heavily Armed Female Police Officers Show Readiness for Ekiti Election | NAIJ.com TV