The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, whose tenure expired midnight on Monday, said earlier in the day that he would visit the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday (today) with his bedclothes and pillowcase.
Fayose’s immunity ends along with his tenure and he has been invited to the headquarters of the EFCC where he will answer to allegations that he received about N1.3bn from the Office of the National Security Adviser through the then Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro.
Fayose said, “I will be there on Tuesday. I am not begging for any bail. It is up to them. If they want me, they should just give me a bed. I have done my bedclothes, I have done my pillowcase. I have my English and Yoruba bibles. I am prepared for them. Nobody should worry about me. Only cowards die many times before their deaths.”
Fayose spoke even as a source close to him has said that some governors and lawmakers who are members of the Peoples Democratic Party are expected to accompany him to the EFCC.
Sources close to our correspondent said Fayose, who is the chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, would be accompanied by a team of PDP stalwarts.
The source said, “Fayose will be going to the EFCC with governors and lawmakers. It will be the same way Senate President Bukola Saraki was accompanied by his colleagues when he went to the Code of Conduct Tribunal. We will be there to give him all the encouragement he needs.
Also speaking at a farewell dinner hosted in honour of Fayose, a former minister of aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, said he and others would escort Fayose to the EFCC.
He said when he was also in the custody of the commission in 2016, the governor visited him and gave him encouragement.
Fani-Kayode added, “When I was in the EFCC detention for 60 days and then another 30 days, he came to see me. They were shaking that a sitting governor could come to the EFCC and they came to bring me to see him from one of the underground cells and all he was saying was, ‘Know that God is with you, God is alive.’
“As you stood by us when we went through challenges, so shall we stand by you from October 16 when we go to the EFCC to go and see them. Nothing can overcome you because God is with you.”
While delivering his farewell speech, Fayose said he would be at the EFCC by 1pm, adding that he would be going with his pillowcase, bedclothes and other effects.
He added, “I will be there on Tuesday. I am not begging for any bail. It is up to them. If they want me, they should just give me a bed. I have my English and Yoruba bibles. I am prepared for them. Nobody should worry about me. Only cowards die many times before their deaths.”
The governor said his persecution would be short-lived, adding that the PDP would return to power in the next presidential election.
Fayose said it was not the first time the anti-graft agency would be prosecuting him, adding that he would emerge victorious as he had in the past.
He said, “Tell them at the Villa. My name is Ayo Fayose. My name is Peter the rock. Let me say to you that by the grace of God, I will be at the EFCC by 1pm on Tuesday. I am not a coward, never. Let it be said to them that today is their own and tomorrow is our own. I am coming.”
The governor said once he was released by the EFCC, he would intensify his criticism of the Buhari government, adding that, “As soon as I leave the EFCC I will talk more than what I have said before. There is no way a Buhari will match an Atiku when you put the two of them side by side, comment by comment, clarity by clarity of tongue.”
PDP accuses Presidency of ordering EFCC to detain Fayose indefinitely
The Peoples Democratic Party has alleged that the Presidency has directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to detain the ex-Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, indefinitely.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Monday, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, said information at the party’s disposal and all over the social media indicated that the Presidency had put the commission on alert to arrest the governor at midnight and detain him.
He said the alleged directive by the Presidency was not unconnected with the plot to use the EFCC and other security agencies to incarcerate the governor owing to his persistent criticism of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress government.
The statement read in part, “This uncompromising stand of the ex-governor against the present administration was the reason Ekiti State was invaded and taken by force during the last governorship election.
“By 12 midnight, the governor’s residence is expected to be surrounded by armed men of the EFCC under the pretext that they had information of his plot to escape. This is to achieve their plan to humiliate the governor and portray him in a bad light to the public by dramatising his arrest.
“Nigerians can recall that it was the governor who offered to submit himself to the EFCC despite the commission’s clear display of bias and partisanship as demonstrated in its various actions, especially its tweets and putting the governor on security watch-list.”
It added, “The EFCC even unprofessionally showed its bias in deriding the governor, making light of a very serious matter by mocking him and asking him to come before his tenure elapsed, which the governor declined in line with the constitutional immunity.”
He said it was obvious that Fayose was not planning to run away from the country.
“It is now beyond dispute that Governor Fayose is not a scoundrel running away from justice. Whatever the EFCC, APC, and the Presidency’s spin-doctors may say, it is also clear to everyone that Fayose is not a coward; neither is he afraid of the EFCC,” Ologbondiyan added.
He argued that since the EFCC said it had dusted up Fayose’s files, it should be ready to take him to court once he appeared at the agency’s office on Tuesday.
Speaking to journalists, however, Fayose said he was ready for the commission.
He said, “That is their stock in trade, I heard about the plot as well but I don’t care what they do, the commission is not above the law. How can they say I want to run away and as such, they want to come and invade my residence when I left Ado Ekiti on my own to come and see them; any way, I don’t expect better than that from the commission
“I don’t care how long they will decide to keep me but my voice will not go down, I represent the voice of the common people of Nigeria, I appreciate our party, the PDP, for their prompt reaction but this nonsense will come to an end one day.
“I am aware of that operational order on my arrest, let them come, nobody can intimidate me, I don’t need their soft landing, Nigeria belongs to all of us, they are not God and they should stop playing one.”
We have no time for your games, EFCC replies Fayose
Meanwhile, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has said it has no time to play games with Fayose.
The Spokesman for the EFCC, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, said this in a message while reacting to Fayose’s statement.
Fayose and the Peoples Democratic Party had alleged that the commission was planning to storm Fayose’s home once his tenure expired at midnight.
However, the EFCC said, “The EFCC has no time for frivolity. Instead of this ‘mind game’ Ayodele Fayose should conserve his energy as the commission is ready for him.”
PDP should stop being ridiculous – APC
In its reaction, the All Progressives Congress on Monday dismissed as ridiculous the allegations by the Peoples Democratic Party that the President had ordered for the detention of Fayose.
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, spoke in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents in Abuja.
Issa-Onilu said, “The PDP should stop being ridiculous. There are agencies of government that have the mandate over any issue that has to do with anti-corruption.
“They have guidelines for their operations and whatever they choose to do with anybody that runs afoul of the law. It is going to be ridiculous to start linking the name of the President to the operations of an agency of government.
“If Fayose has any issue with any agency of government, he has the responsibility to face the agency and sort out whatever issue he has with them without linking the President to it.
“It is Fayose’s stock in trade to throw in the President to any issue; he feels so important and thinks the President is aware of whatever is going on around Fayose.”
The APC spokesman asked the governor to go to the EFCC to clear his name and stop dragging the office and person of the President into it.
“Mind you, the APC as the ruling party does not trade in impunity, which is not our style. If he has any issue, he should go and face it,” he said.