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N25bn fraud: Ekiti initiates criminal charges against Fayemi, Kolawole

For allegedly stealing N4.9billion from the state while holding sway as governor, the Ekiti State government has initiated criminal charges against Mines and Steel Development Minister, Dr Kayode Fayemi and his former Finance Commissioner, Mr Dapo Kolawole.

 

This is coming barely two weeks after the release of a white paper on a report of Justice Silas Oyewole Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the finances of Ekiti State during the administration of the former governor.

 

While releasing the white paper on January 15, the government directed that the state’s Ministry of Justice should initiate appropriate legal action against Fayemi and others with a view to making them accountable for funds allocated for projects inN25billion Bond Prospectus which were either not executed or partly executed.

 

Fayemi and Kolawole in a19-count charge No. HAD/05c/2018 dated January 26 and filed before an Ado-Ekiti High Court were accused of stealing, abuse of office, criminal contempt, among others. Besides, the duo Fayemi were accused of misappropriating N4.9billion being proceeds of Ekiti State Bond for the sum of N20billion earmarked in the Bond Prospectus for various projects in the state which were either not done or partly done.

 

One of the counts reads: “That you Dr John Kayode Fayemi and Mr Vincent Dapo Kolawole, while holding the offices of the executive governor of Ekiti State of Nigeria and Commissioner for Finance respectively, sometime between 2011 and 2014, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, conspired to steal the sum of N2,750,000,000.00 (N2.75 billion) being the sum of money earmarked in the Bond Prospectus etitled ‘Ekiti State Government of Nigeria, offer for subscription of N20,000,000,000 (N20 billion).

 

The Ekiti State Government of Nigeria N25,000,000,000.00 Bond Issuance Programme and released for the construction of Ultra-Modern Market in Ekiti State, which you never built; and thereby committed an offence.” Also on the N25 billion bond, Fayemi and Kolawole were accused of stealing the sum of N716,688,790.92 out of the N750 million earmarked in the Bond Prospectus and released for the construction of Ekiti State School of Agriculture out of which only N33.311,209.08 was allegedly spent, N198,860,023.00 being outstanding fund from the N500million earmarked in the Bond Prospectus and released for the construction of Ekiti State Liaison Office in Lagos, out of which only N301,139,977 was expended for the said construction.

 

Meanwhile, Kolawole has sued Governor Ayo Fayose and two of his aides for an alleged libel, seeking N20billion in damage. Kolawole is asking for N10billion each from Fayose’s spokesman, Lere Olayinka and a House of Assembly member for alleged defamation on claims on a live television and radio programme, saying he and his boss, Dr. Kayode Fayemi ‘plunged’ the state into debt to the tune of N85billion.

 

The former commissioner also sued Fayose, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Attorney General of the Federation, Accountant General of the Federation, Central Bank of Nigeria and Debt Management Office. Joined in the suit are Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Secretary to Ekiti State Government, Accountant General, Ekiti State, Commissioner for Finance, Ekiti State.

 

Also, Kolawole is asking the court to compel the EFCC to investigate the circumstances for the diversion and breach of the appropriation laws of Ekiti State through the cancellation of the original contract i.e. Ikere-Iju-Ondo Boundary Dualisation without first ensuring that all laws and process of Ekiti State Government was strictly adhered to.

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