The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has alerted the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to keep the governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayo Fayose under surveillance for alleged conspiracy, abuse of office, official corruption, theft and money laundering.
The EFCC, in a letter signed by its acting chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu and addressed to the comptroller general of NCS, Colonel Hameed Ali (retd), said the governor was under investigation and “he may likely leave the country either through the land borders, airports or seaports in order to evade investigation.”
EFCC’s letter with a reference number, CR:3000/EFCC/ABJ/EG/TA/VOL.59 and dated September 12, is titled, ‘Request for watch-listing of persons, the case of conspiracy, abuse of office, official corruption, theft and money laundering’ reads: “The under listed suspect is under investigation in connection with the above-mentioned offences and there is reasonable suspicion suggesting that he may likely leave the country either through the land borders, airports, seaports in order to evade investigation. Hence, you are requested to watch-list and arrest him.
“You are further requested to contact the commission through the following numbers in the event of his arrest.
Name of the suspect: Fayose Ayodele Peter
Address: Ekiti State Government House, Ekiti State
Date of birth: 15th November, 1960
Passport No.: A05804492
Please accept the assurances of my highest regards.”
Abrahim Magu, Ag, Executive Chairman
In response, the NCS comptroller wrote to his top lieutenants, on the need to be on the lookout for Fayose.
The internal memo, dated September 14, 2018, was copied to All Zonal Commanders; Customs Area Controllers; Comptrollers FOU A, B, C and D; Comptrollers EMC and WMC; Comptroller CIU; and National Coordinator Headquarters Strike Force.
In the memo, signed by the assistant comptroller general (E I & I), Mr. B.A. Amajam, on behalf of the deputy comptroller general of the unit, reads “Forwarded herewith is a letter from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission referenced CR 3000/EFCC/ABJ/EG/TA/VOL.59/010 dated 12th September 2018.
“Consequently, you are requested to monitor the suspect and report to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission through the contact details if sighted. Above is for your information and compliance, please.”
But in his reaction, Fayose described the action taken by the EFCC as “petty” after he had had told the agency that he would appear before it on October 16, 2018. Fayose who said he was not afraid in spite of the intimidation declared:
“EFCC, when a woman is being brought to you as a wife, you don’t have to peep through the window to see her. As I said in my letter, Insha Allah, I will be in your office on October 16, a day after the expiration of my tenure.
“Putting my name on a watch list after notification of my coming is not only political but petty. I’m not among those who are afraid to face tomorrow. Nobody is God. They should expect me on October 16, 2018. I will remain in the PDP not minding their intimidation.”
It would be recalled that the governor, had in a letter dated September 10, 2018 and addressed to the chairman of the EFCC, said he would appear before the agency “to clarify issue(s) or answer questions on issues within my knowledge.”
Fayose who personally signed the letter entitled ‘Notification of my decision to make myself available in your office to clarify issue(s) or answer questions on issues within my knowledge’, said his desire to submit himself to the commission was hinged “on several and serial actions of your commission for some time now, including but not limited to freezing of my accounts and attempts to secure temporary forfeiture of my properties.”
He said the commission’s actions are indicative of its desire “to have me clarify some issues or answer some questions but for the immunity I enjoy under Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution as the sitting governor of Ekiti State.”
“I wish to inform you that my term of office pursuant to which I enjoy immunity against investigation and prosecution under the above provision shall lapse by effusion of time on October 15, 2018.
“As a responsible citizen of our great country, who believes in the rule of law, I wish to inform you of my decision to make myself available in your office on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 1p.m. to clarify issues or answer questions within my knowledge.
“Kindly confirm the suitability of the above date or indicate by return, the commission’s convenient date,” he stated in the letter.
But the EFCC, in a letter with reference number, ‘EFCC/EC/GC/31/2173 dated September 1, 2018, and signed by the agency’s director of operations, Mr. Umar Mohammed, urged the governor to feel free to come to the EFCC even before the expiration of his tenure.
“I refer to your letter dated September 10, 2018 relative above captioned subject.
“I appreciate your sense of duty and responsibility as a law abiding citizen who wishes to submit himself voluntarily to the due process of the law, more so as your immunity as a governor shall soon come to an end.
“In view of the above and your request to make yourself available on October 16, 2018, to make clarifications on ongoing investigations that affect you, we look forward to receiving you even than October 16, 2018.
“In this regard, we shall be willing to receive you on Thursday September 20, 2018 without prejudice to your immunity under Section 308 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
“Please, accept the assurances of the acting executive chairman’s highest regards.”