The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has written to the Nigeria Customs Service, copying the Police and other security agencies to place the outgoing Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, on its watch list and prevent the governor from leaving the country through any land, air or sea borders.
The EFCC Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, in a letter dated September 12 to the Customs’ Comptroller General’s office, described Governor Fayode as “the suspect”.
He stated that Fayose was under investigation and there was a suspicion that he might leave the country to evade the commission’s investigations.
Recall that Fayose, whose tenure will end on October 15, had last Monday written to the EFCC chairman, indicating his readiness to report at the EFCC office on October 16 “to clarify issues or answer questions on issues within my knowledge.”
The EFCC had replied Fayose that he could report at the commission’s headquarters on September 20 for questioning, instead of waiting till his immunity lapsed on October 16.
Hence, many are wondering why the EFCC had to take this “watch list” action.
The EFCC wrote, “The under listed suspect is under investigation in connection with the above-mentioned offences and there is reasonable suspicion suggesting that he may likely leave the country either through the land borders, airports, seaports in order to evade investigation. Hence, you are requested to watch-list and arrest him.
“You are further requested to contact the commission through the following numbers in the event of his arrest. Name of the suspect: Fayose Ayodele Peter, Address: Ekiti State Government House, Ekiti State.”
It was also learnt by The Punch that apart from the Customs, the EFCC has also reached out to the police, the Nigerian Immigration Service and the Department of State Services to monitor Governor Fayose’s movements and arrest him in case he attempts to leave the country.
A source in the EFCC said, “The letter was copied to the police and the DSS. So, all the security agencies and border authorities have been notified about the governor in order to ensure that he does not flee the country.”
However, Fayose has berated the EFCC for putting his name on the watch list describing such move as political and petty.
A press statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi, in Ado Ekiti on Sunday, quoted Fayose as saying he was in the Peoples Democratic Party and would remain there not minding any form of intimidation.
Fayose’s statement read, “EFCC, when a woman is being brought to you as a wife, you don’t have to peep through the window to see her. As I said in my letter, Insha Allah, I will be in your office on October 16, a day after the expiration of my tenure.
“Putting my name on a watch list after notification of my coming is not only political but petty. I’m not among those who are afraid to face tomorrow. Nobody is God. They should expect me on October 16, 2018. I will remain in the PDP not minding their intimidation.”
The governor also took a swipe at the Federal Government for releasing N16.6bn Paris Club Refund to Osun State about two weeks to the governorship election when that of Ekiti was withheld in a similar circumstance.
He said the refusal of the Federal Government to pay Ekiti the refund of the money spent on federal projects and withholding the Paris Club refund accounted for why workers’ salaries were not paid.