The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is set to invite Mrs. Feyisetan Fayose, the wife of Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, for receiving N100m through an account which is operated by her and her husband.
According to the EFCC, the money, which emanated from the account of the Office of the National Security Adviser, was paid into the Zenith Bank account of Spotless Investment Limited on June 17, 2014, less than a week to the June 21 governorship election in Ekiti State.
The money was paid into the company’s account with bank teller number 0540997 by Abiodun Agbele, an associate of the governor.
The two signatories to Spotless Investment Limited’s account are Fayose and his wife.
An EFCC detective told one of our correspondents, “N100m was paid into the Spotless Investment Limited account with number 1010170969 at Zenith Bank. The two signatories are Fayose, with Bank Verification Number 22338867502, and his wife, Helen Olayemi, with BVN 22298990256.”
The account has since been frozen by the anti-graft agency.
As a sitting governor, Fayose cannot be prosecuted or arrested because he enjoys immunity.
“His wife, however, has no immunity,” the source added.
The PUNCH had reported on Wednesday that N1,219,490,000 was flown to Akure Airport on June 12, 2014, by a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, ahead of the June 21, 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State.
The money was said to have been part of the N4.7bn, which was paid into the Diamond Bank account of Sylvan McNamara by the Office of the National Security Adviser. Sylvan McNamara is a company in which Obanikoro’s sons are signatories.
A large chunk of the N1,219,490,000 was said to have been paid into Fayose’s private and company accounts, including the N100m, which was paid into the account of Spotless Investment Limited.
PDP, APC bicker over anti-corruption fight
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party on Wednesday described the freezing of the personal accounts of Fayose as politically motivated.
The party said it had observed with dismay the dangerous trend of “politically-motivated trials and tyrannical administration” of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress.
The PDP demanded that the ruling party must stop the witch-hunt in the interest of peace and stability of our nation.
This was contained in a statement by the Publicity Committee of the PDP Caretaker Committee, Mr. Dayo Adeyeye.
The party described the freezing of Fayose’s personal account as unlawful, undemocratic, autocratic, oppressive, draconian and the height of desperation by the Buhari administration to cover up for its failure to deliver on his campaign promises to Nigerians.
Adeyeye stated, “This government is all out to silence any voice of the opposition. Nigerians will recall that Chief Olisa Metuh, the former National Publicity Secretary of our great party, is today standing trial for receiving campaign funds and since his arrest and prosecution by the anti-graft agency, Chief Metuh could not challenge the APC government on policy issues until he left office.
“Nigerians will also recall that one of the known opposition voices, apart from some individuals and governors of our party, who has exposed the APC-led administration for running the country aground in the last one year, is the former spokesman for the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode; and he is now standing trial for receiving campaign funds from the Director of Finance of the Campaign.
“ It’s now the turn of the Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, who has been consistent in condemning the woes the APC government brought upon Nigerians and for remaining critical of the APC and President Buhari’s administration.”
The party condemned the freezing of Fayose’s personal account and asked the EFCC to unfreeze the bank account immediately, saying the action violated Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution, as a sitting governor could not stand trial until after office.
In its reaction, the APC said the opposition PDP did not have the right to dictate how the Buhari-led administration should fight corruption.
APC said this in a statement by its National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni, in Abuja, on Wednesday.
The party said this in its reaction to the declaration by the PDP National Assembly caucus that it had withdrawn its support for the Buhari administration following what it called the persecution of its members.
Buni said, “For the umpteenth time, the PDP and their agents do not have the luxury of dictating how the current administration and the anti-corruption agencies carry out their legitimate duties of investigating and prosecuting cases of corruption as long as they conform to the rule of law.
“The PDP Caucus must be reminded of their primary responsibility of law-making and representation of their constituents at the National Assembly.”
The ruling party advised the PDP Senate Caucus not to allow “political shenanigans” to becloud the overall national interest.
It said the caucus’ allegations of a selective anti-corruption fight and “belligerent” stance of the current administration was hogwash and baseless.
How my campaign was funded –Fayose
Also, on Wednesday, Fayose explained that his 2014 governorship election campaign was funded by the Zenith Bank, fundraising, donations from friends and associates as well as sales of campaign souvenirs.
The governor was reacting to media reports that the EFCC traced N4.7bn from the ONSA to his account and the company account of the two sons of Obanikoro.
Fayose in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi, challenged the EFCC to publish statements made by Obanikoro, his sons or any other person associated with money from the NSA’s office, where they claimed they gave him money for the election.
He stated, “I have no financial transaction whatsoever with the Office of the National Security Adviser under Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), and former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, either by cash, cheque or electronic transfer.
“The EFCC is only acting a movie scripted, produced and directed by the All Progressives Congress government of President Muhammadu Buhari just to silence me, being a major opposition voice in the country.”
Narrating how he came about the money found in his Zenith Bank account, the governor said, “The management of Zenith Bank, which majorly funded my election, called me to a meeting, where I was asked to nominate a trusted ally to be related with and I nominated Mr. Abiodun Agbele.
“All the payments into Abiodun Agbele’s account domiciled in Zenith Bank were directly from Zenith Bank.
“Most of the funds posted into Agbele’s account were through the Ibadan, Akure and Lagos branches of the Zenith Bank and sometimes; they brought cash.
“Assuming but not conceding, that cash moved from Lagos to Akure as being claimed by the EFCC in its usual manner of media trial, was meant for my election in Ekiti, why was the cash not moved to Ado Ekiti branch of Zenith Bank or the cash handed to me directly?
“I wish to state further that if it becomes evidently clear that those who willingly provided money for my election can no longer stand by what they did, maybe because of threat from the EFCC, I will not hesitate to name names.”
The governor called on the EFCC to beam its searchlights on the funding of the APC elections, especially that of the President.
Fayose added, “Since we are now in the era in which financial assistance from Nigerians to fund elections is being criminalised, the international community, especially those funding EFCC, must insist that the commission probe the funding of APC elections before further funds are released to the commission.
“Most importantly, Nigerians are interested in the $60m allegedly donated to the APC campaign by Sahara Energy, on which the EFCC has been forced to suspend investigation.”