EFCC Vows to Prosecute Fayose over Alleged N1.3bn Poultry Fraud


• Fayemi to probe governor

By Chiemelie Ezeobi and Chinedu Eze

Barely hours after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Kayode Fayemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC), winner of the Ekiti State gubernatorial election, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has declared its intention to prosecute the incumbent Governor Ayodele Fayose of the state.

This coming as Fayemi has said he would probe the Fayose’s administration.

According to a tweet from the twitter handle of the EFCC, the agency will prosecute Fayose over an alleged fraud at the Integrated Poultry Project/Biological Concepts Limited to the tune of N1.3billion.

While the agency is raring to prosecute Fayose, they will however, have to wait for his immunity as governor to elapse in 60 days’ time when he will hand over to Fayemi.

The EFCC handle fondly referred to as ‘The Eagle’ on social media set twitter ablaze with this tweet accompanied with a purported picture of the poultry farm; “The parri (party) is over; the cloak of immunity torn apart, and the staff broken.

“#Ekiti Integrated Poultry Project/Biological Concepts Limited N1.3billion fraud case file dusted off the shelves. See you soon.”

But some twitter followers did not particularly find that tweet amusing, as they labelled it a witch hunt from an unprofessional agency.

Tweeting from @YoungProf_MUFC, one of the antagonists, said: “Rubbish. Why couldn’t you start this investigation, when he was the governor?

“You are just letting the world know that you witch hunt the sitting president’s political opponents.”

To this allegation, the EFCC clarified: “This case has been on since 2005, but became a pending case due to the immunity. There’s nothing new here. #NoWitchHunt.”

Meanwhile, Fayemi has said he would probe the Fayose administration when he gets into office.

Fayemi made this known in an interview with the Channels Television yesterday

He said he would want to know how funds were expended in the state since 2014 when he left office.

“I will look at the records when I get into office. You can call it probe if you like. I will want to know what happened in the state in the last four years,” the governor-elect said.

He said his priority would be how to pay the backlog of salaries to the workers of the state and promised that he would work with the Fayose government in a transition process to know how much the workers are owed and if the payment could start before he takes over.

He said that he is ready for the electoral tribunal if the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) decides to contest the election at the tribunal, adding that he would also be happy if the defeated candidate of the party called to acknowledge his victory, just as he did when he was defeated in 2014.

“Electoral tribunal is part of the process of the electoral system. I am not afraid if PDP chose to go to court. I used the court to reclaim my mandate in 2010 after the election in 2007. I went through the tribunal to the Appeal Court. But if they reach out to me I will be happy to accept them,” Fayemi said.

However, even with the EFCC’s explanation on their planned prosecution of Fayose, many still did not buy it as they maintained that it was nothing short of a witch hunt.

This is because going by EFCC logic, the case was opened in 2005 and the file stayed dormant, meanwhile, Fayose was impeached in 2006 and re-elected in 2014, thus begging the question why nine years without immunity and without being prosecuted.

@Jngwobia1 said: “Babachir David Lawal the grasscutter…(sic) is walking free. This is Nigeria where anybody who doesn’t support the president is seen as a criminal.  Power always shifts. It has shifted against Fayose, one day it will shift against Magu.”

Victor Osolake asked: “But then what was the @officialEFCC doing between 2006 when @GovAyoFayose was impeached and 2014 when he was re-elected?

“Obviously, he didn’t have immunity for a period of eight years and he was never charged to court. This is the kind of sensationalism that many Nigerians detest.”

While some were flaying the EFCC, there were yet others who deemed their potential action as a welcome development for democracy.

Sapere Audu who was apparently on the side of EFCC said: “@YoungProf_MUFC You fell for scam. The case isn’t new and it’s not the only one he has.

“Should they not continue their investigation because he’s the voice of the opposition as he made you believe? Lol.”

However, going by the flak the agency received, they were forced to delete the tweet, but not before THISDAY and several other social media users screen-munched it.

Ogo Noroh said: “It’s unfortunate that @officialEFCC is acting in a shameless and pre-judicial manner. Why delete this tweet if there is no witch hunt?

“The whole fight against corruption is politically motivated and there is no real fight against corruption whatsoever in Nigeria.”