Details have finally emerged regarding the interrogation of immediate past governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after the former governor reported at the headquarters of the anti-graft agency in Abuja on October 16 as promised.
Fayose was led to the interrogation room minutes after his arrival after which he was asked to write a statement narrating how he expended the sum of N1.3bn allegedly received from the Office of the National Security Adviser through former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, in preparation for the 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State; the commission also asked him to return the money.
Fayose however denied receiving any money from either Senator Obanikoro or the Office of the NSA.
According to a source at the EFCC;
“We have treated Fayose with respect since he arrived in our office. We asked him about the money he received from Obanikoro and when he would return it but he is denying everything.
He said in his statement on oath that he never received any money despite the overwhelming evidence. The man is refusing to cooperate despite the overwhelming evidence we have.”
The source further confirmed that Mr. Fayose was still writing his statement as at 7pm of October 16.
The EFCC says it traced the funds from the office of the NSA to Fayose after the sum was handed over to Obanikoro by the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.) to remit to the former governor for the 2014 governorship election in Ekiti state.
The EFCC said further that N1.3bn was given to Fayose while another N1.3bn was also handed over to the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Osun State in 2014, Senator Iyiola Omisore by Obanikoro alleging that the funds were transported by air from Lagos to Ekiti state.
Since the investigation began in 2015, the EFCC has interrogated over 20 persons including; Captain Ahmed Borodo, the pilot whose plane was allegedly chartered by Obanikoro; Aide-de-Camp to Obanikoro, Lt. Olumide Adewale; Fayose’s aide, Abiodun Agbele (who is already standing trial for allegedly receiving the funds on behalf of Fayose); bureau de change operators and senior bank executives.
Counsel to Fayose, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) said the former governor would not compromise himself in the name of administrative bail.
Ozekhome said further that Fayose’s accounts had already been frozen by the EFCC and the matter was already in court.
He also said that Fayose had no money to refund as demanded by the EFCC, According to the SAN;
“Fayose is not like other Nigerians that the EFCC will bamboozle and force and blackmail to make refunds. Why tell a man to refund the money he has not admitted to receiving when the matter is in court?
If they offer him an administrative bail with no strings attached, which is not a Greek gift, then he should take it.”