We take the time to explain why EFCC says it wants to reopen the N1.3B fraud case against Ekiti Governor Ayodele Fayose. Speaking through his spokesperson, Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose has announced that he isn’t going to run away from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
On Saturday, July 14, 2018, Fayose’s handpicked candidate in the governorship election, Prof Kolapo Olusola-Eleka, lost to Dr. John Kayode Fayemi of the APC.
Soon after Fayemi was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the EFCC issued a tweet (which has now been deleted) to suggest that the anti-graft agency will be going after Fayose over the poultry scam.
The EFCC tweet read as follows: “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.”
What is this whole poultry project about?
On May 29, 2003, Fayose was elected second executive Governor of Ekiti State after defeating then incumbent Niyi Adebayo in the gubernatorial elections.
However, Fayose’s tenure was cut short as he was impeached on October 16, 2006.
Then President Olusegun Obasanjo regarded Fayose as corrupt and made sure he was impeached.
Fayose and Obasanjo have been sworn enemies since the impeachment. Fayose constantly insults Obasanjo to this day.
In 2005, the EFCC filed a N1.3bn fraud case against Fayose over the integrated poultry project.
The project involved the building of four poultry farms in four centres in Ekiti by the State government.
Prosecutors say Fayose’s childhood friend, Gbenga James, was awarded the contract for the project.
However, the money wasn’t spent on the project, according to prosecutors. Instead, the N1.3billion was reportedly used to build a house in Ibadan for Fayose and purchase a Mercedes Benz worth N2.1million for Fayose’s mother, among other things.
Fayose fled Nigeria’s shores when the EFCC started asking questions
When investigations commenced into the case, an impeached Fayose fled the country for fear that the EFCC could come after him.
The EFCC hasn’t been able to reopen the case file as Fayose returned to win the governorship election in 2014.
Under Nigerian laws, serving State governors are immune from prosecution, but once they are done with their terms in office, the EFCC can then slap charges on them.
Fayose will hand over the affairs of Ekiti to Fayemi on Tuesday, October 16, 2018.
Fayose says he isn’t scared of the EFCC
After the EFCC’s tweet of Sunday, July 15, Fayose’s spokesperson Lere Olayinka told Premium Times that “he (Fayose) is not afraid of anything. What are they going to do to him? Is EFCC the court of law?”
Olayinka added that there was no way the EFCC will be able to pin anything on his principal.
According to Olayinka, Fayose is willing to turn himself in after leaving office.
“Since 2015 that they started talking about Sambo Dasuki, how many Nigerians have they convicted?” Olayinka asked. “That was how they lied that the governor had a property on Gana Street in Maitama and nothing came out of it.
“The governor will hand over when the day comes in October,” Mr Olayinka said. “And if it is necessary that he should go to the EFCC for questioning after leaving office, he will go and meet them.”
The presidency doesn’t like Fayose and Fayose doesn’t like the presidency
Fayose is also not best of friends with the presidency. The Ekiti governor has spent a chunk of his time in office hurling insults at President Buhari whom he considers too ill, too feeble and too old to govern Nigeria.
After the defeat of the governor’s candidate in last weekend’s gubernatorial election, presidency spokesperson Garba Shehu called Fayose a “street-type thug” who peddles fake news for a living.
“The politics of brinkmanship, assaults, insults, abuses and Robin Hoodism disguised as stomach infrastructure has been rejected in favour of politics of inclusion, development, responsibility and good governance”, Shehu wrote.
“As for Mr. Fayose and his morbid brand of politics, it is now his time to reconcile himself to the imminent political extinction he faces, his political career sealed for good. Newspapers have mistaken him for a gadfly who creates discomfort for the government at the centre to make it better, but Fayose is a street-type thug.
“An old proverb says you can’t beat something with nothing. After all the noise, theatricals and drama, Fayose’s fall came with a thud, not a bang: a high-powered nothing,” he added.