Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of bias and vindictiveness for allegedly accusing Zamfara State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governorsâ€™ Forum (NGF), Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, of looting N500million and $500,000 from the Paris Club refunds allocated to his state.
It has been widely reported in the media that the anti-graft agency had accused Yari of diverting the monies from the
NGFâ€™s bank account to build a hotel in Lagos.
Commenting on the EFCCâ€™s position wednesday in Ado Ekiti, Fayose said: â€œThe EFCC has become a lawless organisation. They are fond of destroying peopleâ€™s reputation. This is most uncharitable. How would you compensate the man if at the end of the day, those allegations, are found to be untrue.
â€œThe EFCC is now being used for settling personal scores. A cabal has hijacked the commission and the fraud in EFCC is second to none.
â€œRather than doing the right things, they are muzzling the judiciary and blaming it for losing cases in court when they have no concrete evidence.
â€œToday, none of the governors has been called or questioned because of the immunity. A man you have not listened to his own side of the story, you are accusing him and engaging him in media trial because he has an independent mind. Nigerians are not gullible; they would ask questions.â€
Fayose said he was not surprised at the activities of the commission because of the antecedents of President Muhammadu Buhari, whom he accused of imposing the EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, on Nigerians.
â€œI warned Nigerians about this government. They started with politicians and moved to breaking houses of judges and lawyers.
â€œThat was why I said Buhari did not deserve to lead Nigeria. When a wicked man is leading, a lot of evil will be perpetuated under his watch,â€ he said.
Fayose said the NGF would meet soon to review the situation to save Nigerians from further harassment and political witch-hunt in the hands of the operatives of the commission.
â€œThis is humiliation and character assassination of our chairman. We reject it. The governorsâ€™ forum is a reputable organisation. Why not keep your gun powder dry and wait for hearing, and confront him with evidence.
â€œThis is why they are asking for special courts so that they can shop for compromised judges that will do their bidding and be jailing people for them. Now those judges have also had bad experiences in the hands of the commission, which will serve as an eye opener to the rot in the agency – an organisation that does not obey court order.
â€œYari remains our chairman, and we will meet and discuss this. Most of the people in EFCC are not educated. Some civil rights lawyers are now collecting bribe on behalf of the operatives.
â€œThe EFCC must be tamed. They are pursuing vendetta. What do you expect when their chairman is not cleared by the Senate? Currently as constituted, the EFCC does not exist in principle because their chairman has not been cleared. Their activities remain a nullity,â€ the governor declared.