• APC only displaying ignorance over gov’s immunity, says state govt
Olakiitan Victor in Ado Ekiti
The Ekiti State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) and other anti-Fayose groups yesterday trooped to the streets of Ado Ekiti in protest against alleged looting of the state’s commonwealth by Governor Ayodele Fayose.
The coalition described the action of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) freezing accounts belonging and operated by Fayose in Zenith Bank Plc for allegedly containing N1.3 billion slush fund from the office of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) to fund the governor’s campaign in 2014.
Large retinue of policemen and men of the Department of State Services were deployed to provide cover for the mammoth crowd that attended the rally.
The placard-carrying protesters, which comprise party leaders, students, youth groups, artisans and other like-minded individuals, marched from Fajuyi park through Okeyinmi and stopped at Ijigbo area where they were addressed by leaders of each group.
In what seems like a general consensus, the protesters passed confidence vote on the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari and his anti-corruption war, challenging the EFCC to dig deep into the finances of the state and prosecute whoever was indicted in the looting of the state’s treasury.
They chanted anti-Fayose’s songs to deride the way the governor had allegedly been looting the state, especially his alleged indictment in the N1.2 billion arms fund, alleged collection of kickbacks from contractors handling various projects in the state to buy multibillion naira property in Lagos, among others.
The APC acting Chairman in the state, Mrs. Kemi Olaleye, expressed regret about how the immunity conferred on Fayose in line with section 308 of the constitution, had been impeding his prosecution for alleged embezzlement of funds.
“We are tired of immunity clause. Immunity has become impunity in Ekiti. We condemn Governor Fayose’s corrupt tendencies .Things must change. The EFCC must do its job and ensure that looters of Ekiti are brought to justice,” she said.
A statement presented by the CNPP Chairman in the state, Mr. Tunji Ogunlola, challenged Fayose to waive his immunity and face prosecution over alleged involvement in N4.7 billion arms deal alongside former Minister of State for Defence , Musiliu Obanikoro and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Osun State in the last poll, Mr. Iyiola Omisore.
“On the issue of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, we ask the 17 members alleged to have falsified their certificates to submit themselves for prosecution. It is very unfortunate that their primary roles have been abandoned for Fayose’s defence.
“We also plead with the federal government not to release bailout for payment of salary to Governor Fayose. The Federal Ministry of Finance should pay into workers’ accounts directly, because we have lost confidence in the government. The previous N9.6billion bailout should be probed.
“We want to commend the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, and Director General of the DSS, Mr. Lawal Daura for probing alleged political thuggery levelled against PDP government in Ekiti.
However, Fayose has said the APC protesters asking him to waive his immunity were doing so out of ignorance and desperation to win the state in 2018 knowing that their aim can only be achieved if he is out of the way.
It said it was a failed agenda ab initio because the government was ever ready for them on a daily basis like soldiers guarding the entrance of military formation, adding that they should know that this is 2016 and not 2006.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi, Fayose said: “Their whole agenda is about 2018 and their game plans are what we are now seeing using the EFCC to concoct lies and using the media to disparage Fayose, but they can’t go far.
“For now, the APC and the mad dogs of Buhari should not be too desperate for Fayose to defend himself against the myriads of allegations, but rather wait till 2018 for the governor to submit himself to EFCC as he did in 2007.
“Till now, even the political EFCC has not accused Fayose of stealing Ekiti money and if it is concorting one, we shall meet in the court at the appropriate time.
“It is only in Nigeria under APC-led government that Chief Jide Awe, an accuse having murder case hanging on its neck will be the person who coordinated the 102 petitions written against one person. The petition itself is laughable and it shows that the writters have no common sense.
“Jide Awe and other APC members murdered 12 people during the Fayemi administration and not withstanding warrant of arrest issued on these suspects by the court, the police has refused to arrest them because
of order from above.
On the infamous 102 petitions, no professional policeman except ‘political policeman’ would give such petitions a second look.
“It is very shameful that these protesters have not ask their boss, Fayemi to account for the SUBEB N852million fund he misappropriated or tell Ekiti people why within four years landed the state in valley of debt and what he did with the huge loans he took from the capital market and commercial banks.
“As far as we know, no amount of harassment or intimidation or character assassination will make members of Ekiti State House of
Assembly to succumb to pressures to go against the Governor. The legislators know that their governor has not done any wrong thing.”