Reports have surfaced on Wednesday as to why the former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, is still in the custody of the leading anti-graft agency in Nigeria, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The reason the ex-governor got detained was because he allegedly retained a part of the money he reportedly got from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) during the past administration. The money was allegedly received by Fayose in the buildup to the 2014 governorship election, through Musiliu Obanikoro, a former Minister of State for Defence.
He was reportedly grilled for several hours by a special team of investigative agents, in the company of his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome.
A newspaper publication quoted an EFCC source as saying: “Fayose has a lot of issues to clear with us and we hope he can clear them on time. He is to write a voluntary statement on all that he knows about the N4.7 billion that he allegedly received from the former Minister of State for Defence
“Interrogators also confronted him on the choice property he allegedly used funds to acquire in Lagos, Abuja and other places and the allegation that he collected kickbacks from some contractors. Apart from fraudulently retaining the sum of N1, 219,490,000 being part of the N4.7 billion stolen from the treasury of the federal government through the Office of the national security adviser, the applicant (Fayose) has also received gratification in form of kickbacks from various contractors with the Ekiti state government such as Samchese Nigeria Ltd, Tender Branch Concept Nig. Ltd, Hoff Concept Ltd and Calibre Consulting Ltd.
“The applicant (Fayose) received these kickbacks and gratification through Still Earth Ltd and Signachorr Nigeria Limited. In turn, the applicant (Fayose) instructed the Still Earth Ltd and Signachoor Nigeria Limited to use the funds to acquire properties for him.”
The source added that some of the properties which Fayose allegedly acquired with the funds received have been marked for seizure.
“There are so many issues for which Fayose must provide answers to our interrogators. These things take time and he should know that it is beyond fanfare but being honest and providing answers to the issues,” the source was quoted as saying.
The EFCC had begun investigating Fayose and his associates, including his wife, over the fraud allegations. The EFCC had also said it will reopen its case file on the governor over the Integrated Poultry Project Biological Concepts Limited N1.3bn “fraud”.
Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Fayose’s lawyer, has claimed his client was being hounded by the Buhari administration because of his outspokenness against it as well as the fact that he didn’t belong in the All Progressives Congress (APC). He claimed he would have been pardoned like Engineer Babachir Lawal, the former Secretary General of the Federation, if he was a member of the party.