The Ekiti State governor Mr Ayodele Fayose says he is afraid that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will not treat his detained officials with civility and decorum.
The governor is reacting to the arrest of his Commissioner of Finance and the State Accountant General who were arrested by the anti-graft agency over allegations of misuse of bail-out funds.
The agency had told Channels Television that the officials were arrested because they had failed to honour previous invitations to answer questions on the matter.
READ ALSO: Fayose Condemns Arrest Of Ekiti Finance Commissioner, Accountant General
Fayose in his reaction says the latest action by the EFCC is “premeditated, malicious, ill- and politically-motivated, contemptuous of the court, and is unconstitutional in all its ramifications.
The governor in a statement on Friday said that the EFCC has failed and or neglected to appeal or vacate this order; neither is there any report of indictment from the Ekiti State House of Assembly to warrant the EFCC’s action
The governor has earlier on Channels TV programme, Politics Today condemned the anti-graft agency’s action and wondered why they were arrested the same day he declared his ambition to contest the 2019 presidential election.
As part of a resolve to make the welfare of Akwa Ibom workers priority, Governor Udom Emmanuel has approved the payment of a backlog of arrears of pension and gratuities to retired civil servants in the state.
Finance Commissioner, Nsikan Linus Nkan, disclosed this while interacting with labour union leaders under the auspices of the Unified Labour Movement, who called on him in his office.
Nkan said the approved payment of backlogs of arrears of promotions and gratuities are to be implemented in batches.
He explained that the state governor was committed to the well-being of retirees in recognition of their laudable contributions to the state’s development while in active service.
The Commissioner therefore urged workers to continue supporting Governor Emmanuel to actualise his lofty plans for the people of the state, following his worker-friendly disposition since assumption of office, despite dwindling resources.
In 2015, the governor cleared the backlog of retired civil servants’ gratuities dating between 2000 and 2011, a move which earned him commendation from the state leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), as a worker-friendly governor.
Staff of the Abia State Hospital Management Board are bitter over non-payment of their salaries within the last six months.
In a protest in front of their office, the workers dressed in black, numbering about two-hundred, lamented over the hardship they are experiencing and appealed to the government to do the needful.
The State’s Commissioner of Finance, Mr Obinna Oriaku, however, said the protest has a political undertone.
He said a recent verification exercise conducted, revealed a lot of irregularities that brought down the wage bill from N100 to N64 million and considered the protest to be unnecessary, as they had received a month’s salary.
The protesters were seen carrying placards with different inscriptions such as: “Stop The Removal/Slashing Of Our Allowances”, “Our Children Are Thrown Out Of School For School Fees” “Landlords On Our Necks”, amongst others, while the gate and entrance to the offices were kept under lock and key.
Mr. Oriaku stated further that the government would not be distracted or intimidated as it is doing everything possible to clear the arrears.
He also insisted that the protest is politically motivated because as a parastatal, they ought to generate their salaries and raise revenue for the government, which they have not been doing.
The workers have insisted that their protests will continue until the government listens to them and takes positive action as every worker is worthy of their wage.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has given a detailed account of how former Governor of Benue State, Mr Gabriel Suswam and his Finance Commissioner, Mr. Omadachi Okolobia allegedly diverted over 3.1 billion naira belonging to Benue State government.
At the resumed trial before a Federal High Court in Abuja, a detective with the EFCC, Mr. Junaidu Sa’id, told the court that investigation by his team revealed that ex-Governor Suswam instructed that shares owned by the Benue State Government in the Benue Investment and Property Company be sold off for the sum of N10 billion.
Upon the order, the witness said that Elixir Investment Partners was appointed as stockbrokers to carry out the sales of the shares, during which over N9 billion was realized.
Elixir Investment Partners, the witness said, was thereafter instructed to pay the N9 billion into three different bank accounts of the State Ministry of Finance.
He said N5 billion was paid into the account of Benue State Ministry of Finance by Elixir Investment Partners, while a total sum of N3.1 billion was paid into Fanffash Resources account.
The witness said that the owner of Fanfash Resources, Abubakar Umar, was invited by the EFCC, who confirmed that he received N3.1 billion in his company account and converted same to dollar equivalent, amounting to $15.8 million and that he delivered same in cash to former Governor Suswam at his Maitama Residence in Abuja.
He told the court that the Finance Commissioner confirmed issuing directives for the payments to be made to Fanffash Resources and Benue State Ministry of Finance.
The court adjourned till January 18 and 19, 2016 for cross examination of the witness and continuation of hearing.
The former Governor of Benue State, Mr Gabriel Suswam, is expected to be arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday over allegations bordering on money laundering to the tune of three billion Naira.
The anti-graft agency on Tuesday said it was set to arraign Mr Suswam before an Abuja Court on Wednesday, November 4.
A nine-count charge had been filed against the former Governor last month at a Federal High Court in Abuja
In a statement by the anti-graft spokesperson, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, the EFCC alleged that Mr Suswam and his former Finance Commissioner, Omodachi Okolobia, diverted proceeds of the sale of shares owned by the Benue State government and Benue Investment and Property Company Limited.
The agency said the offence levelled against the former Benue Governor was punishable under section 15 (3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act of 2011 as amended in 2012.