Court Orders Immediate De-freezing of Governor Fayose’s Accounts

Court Orders Immediate De-freezing of Governor Fayose's AccountsA Federal High court sitting in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to lift the restriction placed on some accounts belonging to Governor Ayodele Fayose in Zenith Bank.

The court also set aside an earlier order of a Federal High court, Lagos empowering the EFCC to freeze two accounts domiciled in the new generation bank.

The court has consequently ordered the EFCC to immediately defreeze the two accounts belonging to the governor without further delay, on the account that the anti-graft agency did not follow due process in confiscating them.

Delivering his judgement, the presiding Judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, said the rights of the governor had been unconstitutionally infringed upon, considering the circumstance of his office.

Justice Taiwo declared that apart from the immunity which Mr Fayose currently enjoyed as a sitting governor under section 308 of the constitution, it was wrong for the EFCC to have gone ahead to seize his two accounts in apparent perpetuity without first investigating him or making him a party.

He averred that rather than the EFCC freezing the governor’s accounts directly through the third party who did not enjoy any mandate from him, the governor himself ought to have been first investigated and brought into the picture.

The judge described Fayose as “a genuinely deprived person who rushed to the court to seek constitutional protection”.

The judge thereby gave a mandatory order the de-freezing, unblocking and making operational the two accounts by the respondents.

He said it was also the duty of any presiding judge to protect the said constitution and its interpretations whenever the need arises.

“The Plaintiff is entitled to be heard before his property or money can be seized, doing otherwise will amount to denying him fair hearing and constitutional rights”, he said.

The judge however refused to grant other relief sought by the governor, including a perpetual injunction restraining EFCC or its agents from further tampering with his property, and another one asking for payment of N5billion as exemplary damages.

“This court will not shield any person from due investigation and since Police cannot be stopped from investigating a crime, same goes for the First Respondent so as not to whittle down its functions”, the judge said.

EFCC lead counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo was absent at the court but Fayose’s lead counsel, Ozekhome, in his reaction described the judgment as the best to be so made the EFCC in history, saying it would checkmate the agency against years of brazen arbitrariness and excesses.

The EFCC had on June 21, 2016 confiscated the two accounts having allegedly contained a sum of N2.99billion out of the N2.3 billion arms money allegedly drawn by the governor from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki to prosecute his governorship election in 2014.

Fayose through his lawyer, Mr Mike Ozekhome approached the court and sought for the enforcement of his fundamental rights, which involved the de-freezing of the two accounts.

EFCC Releases Obanikoro

Musiliu Obanikoro, EFCC, Ekiti election, ObanikoroThe former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, has been released from the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He was released about on Friday evening, after fulfilling his bail condition which include providing two federal directors as sureties and depositing his Nigerian and American passports at the EFCC.

Senator Obanikoro last week paid the sum of 100.4 million naira to the federal government as part payment for the sum of 480 million naira he allegedly collected from the former national Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki.

Obanikoro reported to the EFCC three months after his invitation by the anti-graft agency. He reported at an EFCC facility directly on his arrival from the United States.

He has since been in their custody while his lawyers worked assiduously to secure his release.

Mr Obanikoro has been in the United States since 2015 after the general elections, where he said he was pursuing leadership and language courses at an American university.

The 2015 election saw his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), unseated at the centre.

Lawyers Working Hard To Secure Obanikoro’s Release, Says Aide

obanikoroFormer Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, may regain freedom soon from the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), his spokesman says.

Mr Jonathan Eze said on Tuesday that Mr Obanikoro’s lawyers were working assiduously to secure his release.

Mr Obanikoro had reported at the anti-graft agency’s office in Lagos on Monday, where he was being interrogated over alleged graft crimes.

His spokesman said in a statement that his principal was well and that the officials of the EFCC were cooperative.

Eze said the agency was conducting its interrogations decently without any form of intimidation and harassment.

He urged the supporters of the embattled former Minister to be patient, noting that the counsels are working tirelessly to secure his release.

The statement reads in parts: “Senator Musiliu Obanikoro is still in the custody of the EFCC, but I can confirm to you that he is strong and well.

“The EFCC officials are doing their job and as at this moment, we don’t have any reason to complain.

“We are optimistic that the operatives will conclude their questioning as soon as possible so that he can go home and rest since he hasn’t rested well, owing to the stress of travelling many hours from the United States.

“We are also confident that the EFCC will not indulge in the luxury of keeping him beyond reasonable time and days, especially as he submitted himself to them without stress”.

Mr Eze added that Senator Obanikoro was not afraid of his stewardship, saying he served Nigeria creditably well and was proud of his contributions so far.

Arms Probe: Obanikoro Reports To EFCC

Musiliu Obanikoro, EFCC, Ekiti election, ObanikoroThree months after his invitation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, has finally reported to the anti-graft agency.

Senator Obanikoro returned to the country on Monday from the U.S. and later proceeded to an EFCC facility.

The former minister who also represented Lagos state in the Senate, had been a subject of interest to the commission in connection with alleged diversion of arms funds.

He has been accused of involvement in corrupt practices, as the anti-corruption campaign of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration intensified with a clampdown on some public officials from the previous administration.

The EFCC has said that it has proof that Obanikoro received a total of 4.745 billion Naira from the office of the former National Security Adviser between April 4, 2014, and December 15, 2014 through companies belonging to his sons.

Mr Obanikoro has been in the United States since 2015 after the general elections, where he said he was pursuing leadership and language courses at an American university.

The 2015 election saw his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), unseated at the centre.

Indictment In #EkitiElection Scandal

Obanikoro was also named in the alleged manipulation of Ekiti State’s governorship election after the emergence of an audio said to have been recorded by a military officer who was at a meeting with some PDP members.

Asides the release of the controversial audio which recorded voices purportedly of Obanikoro, Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose and other notable persons perfecting plans to rig the election, a PDP member also made headlines by tendering evidences to prove that the election was rigged in favour of the PDP.

Mr Tope Aluko gave a breakdown of how series of meetings were held before the election and listed the persons at the meeting to include former President Jonathan, former PDP Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, Governor Fayose and himself (Aluko).

“At the meeting President Jonathan agreed that if he needed Ekiti, he would support us to ensure that we delivered.

“At the second meeting we had Obanikoro, Jelili, Omisore… It was a combination of Osun and Ekiti people and they were discussing how we were going to move to take the south-west

“Before the primaries, His Excellency, Ayodele Fayose, said that we can only win using the military. Then we came up with a plan about May,” he alleged.

He referred to the audio, which was leaked on the internet, saying it was genuine and not doctored.

Controversies trailing the role of the military in the alleged rigging of the election after the emergence of the audio have since led to the retirement of one of the indicted officers, Brigadier General Aliyu Momoh.

The Army officer was retired in line with the recommendation of the Army panel set up to look into allegation of professional misconduct against him in connection with the conduct of June 14, 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State and the 2015 general elections.

A board of inquiry led by General Officer Commanding One Division of the Nigerian Army, led by Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, indicted the senior officer and others, recommending various degrees of sanctions for them.

Aluko Reconciles With Fayose

AlukoDr Tope Aluko a former Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti State is making peace with the Governor of the state, Ayodele Fayose.

Less than three months after he made some damning revealations on Channles Televsion, about how he claimed the Ekiti 2014 governorship election was rigged.

Dr Aluko has come forward to reconcile with Governor Fayose whom he said was the architect of a grand plan of how the Ekiti elections was rigged in the favour of the PDP.

Dr Aluko in January revealed that huge sums of money were spent to manipulate INEC and the military in Mr Fayose’s favour.

VIDEO: ALUKO PRESENTS EVIDENCE CLAIMING EKITI ELECTION WAS RIGGED

At about midnight on Sunday he was caught on camera on reasons for his move.

He told Channels Television, “This is not about position, this is about peace, this is about misunderstanding, talking together and family and well-meaning Nigerians stepping in.”

On his allegations against the Governor, he insisted what is most important is that they had resolved and were moving on.

Governor Fayose, in his reaction said, “When you’re talking about forgiveness, Aluko remains my boy, my son. Whatever he has said in the public sphere, there is time to move forward beyond that.”

Ekiti Election: Aluko Presents Evidence, Claiming It Was Rigged

Tope-AlukoA member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State is insisting that the Ekiti State governorship election was rigged, tendering evidences on how some areas were blocked in the state during the election.

On Politics Today on Sunday, Mr Tope Aluko gave a breakdown of how the election was rigged in favour of the PDP governorship candidate, now Governor, Ayodele Fayose.

Explaining a process he alleged was used in rigging the election, he said: “Before the Primaries, we had this believe that because Jonathan was coming out for second term and because we are going to be the first election in the south-west, at a meeting, we told him (former President Goodluck Jonathan) that north-east, north-west and north-central may not be too sure for him because the Hausas are clamouring for presidency and that you now have south-east and south-south, you must manage the south-west”.

“It was on the basis of that that we told him that he must manage south-west.

“Because of his interest, even before winning the primaries, we did so many security reports to tell Mr President then that he must make sure that we manage south-west zone and it was because of that that he gave us the head of security agencies,” the PDP member said.

‘A Strike Team’

He further told Channels Television that the Minister for State for Defence and Minister of Police Affairs were made to give attention to the election because “we know that APC was everywhere in the southwest and we must naturally capture part of southwest if we want to balance what our brothers in the north were likely to bring on”.

Mr Aluko had testified at a lower Tribunal held to look into the election held last year, but he denied saying at the lower Tribunal that the election was not rigged.

He said that there was an agreement to take out some members of the All Progressive Congress to ensure that they do not give adequate support to their members. The incumbent Governor was an APC member.

“There was a strike team, a mixture of the DSS, military, the mobile police… that is about all.

“We had a meeting at Aso Rock on security and funds. We were given security and funds.

He listed the persons at the meeting to include the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces the former PDP chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, Governor Fayose and himself (Aluko).

“At the meeting President Jonathan agreed that if he needed Ekiti, he would support us to ensure that we delivered.

“At the second meeting we had Obanikoro, Jelili, Omisore… It was a combination of Osun and Ekiti people and they were discussing how we were going to move to take the south-west.

“Before the primaries, His Excellency, Ayodele Fayose, said that we can only win using the military.

“Then we came up with a plan about May,” he alleged.

When asked if his revelations were not a betrayal to Governor Fayose, who was his ally, he said there were not a betrayal, insisting that Governor Fayose betrayed him first after they swore by the bible on some agreements reached.

“We swore on the arrangement that we had before we embarked on the political venture.

“Him (Fayose) becoming the Governor, myself becoming Chief of Staff and Honourable Femi Bamisile becoming the Deputy Governor,” he explained, dismissing claims that he was coming out with the truth because he could not get what was agreed.

“For the military to indict its members because of the election of a state you will know that what I am saying is not a lie.”

He referred to a leaked audio mentioned by a military official that was at a meeting he attended, which was subsequently leaked on the internet, saying it was genuine and not doctored.

Mr Aluko also said that some monies in hard currency were giving as the funding for the Ekiti governorship election.

“That was the money given to the strike team. It was One million per Hilux van per day and they worked for three days,” he said, giving the sum as 132 million Naira.

Lere-Olayinka
Lere Olayinka, Media aide to Governor Ayodele Fayose

Countering Mr Aluko’s claims, a spokesman to the Governor of Ekiti State, Lere Olayinka, said he was not surprised that Mr Aluko would make such claims, insisting that he (Aluko) was of an unstable character.

He further claimed that Mr Aluko had been involved in different crimes, ranging from admission racketeering, issuance of certificates to students while he was a lecturer.

“If he comes here to say some of these things, you should just laugh it off. He had said it by himself that he was here to say all these because Governor Fayose did not make him the Chief of Staff. If he received a call that he had been appointed as the Chief of Staff, he will come back here to say  that all he said was not true,” he stressed, insisting that people should only be believed if they have integrity.

Mr Olayinka further stated that Mr Aluko had appeared before a Tribunal to say that the election in Ekiti was not rigged, insisting that the documents presented by Mr Aluko were put together by him.

Factional Ekiti Speaker Seeks Arrest, Prosecution Of Omirin

Ekiti-State-House-Of-Assembly2The factional Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Mr Dele Olugbemi, has sent petitions to the Police and the Department of State Service, requesting for the arrest and prosecution of the embattled Speaker, Dr. Adewale Omirin, for forgery, impersonation and attempt to cause breach of the public peace.

The request came hours after a purported notice of impeachment against the Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayo Fayose, was circulated online.

The purported notice, dated March 9, was signed by Dr. Omirin.

Mr Olugbemi dismissed the purported notice against Governor Fayose and his Deputy, Dr Olusola Eleka, by the All Progressives Congress lawmakers.

The petitions were sent to the State Commissioner of Police, Taiwo Lakanu and Director of the Department of State Service, Samuel Tamuno, Olugbemi.

The notice posted online and signed by Dr. Omirin, as the Speaker of the House, read: “Please, find attached herewith, allegations of gross misconduct made against your persons by a total of 19 members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly in pursuance of the Provision of Section 188(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

“You are hereby informed that you are at liberty to respond to the said allegations in writing within seven days hereof”.

Seven Peoples Democratic Party lawmakers had on November 20, 2014 impeached Omirin and his deputy, Tunji Orisalade.

Mr Olugbemi, was installed as the Speaker by the faction and had been presiding over the Assembly.

He described the notice of impeachment as a ploy by the APC to distract the State Government.

According to him, the Assembly never sat at any time to deliberate, or pass any Motion for Impeachment of Fayose.

Earlier, Governor Fayose had advised the APC lawmakers to jettison their plan to impeach him, saying it is a ‘joke of the century’.
He asked them to stop acting like jesters, saying, “the script being acted by the APC is a failed one because no one, no matter how highly placed he is, would be allowed to test the will of Ekiti people”.