…Ex-Gov Has Nothing To Hide -Wike
…As Fayemi Assumes Office In Ekiti
Supporters of former Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, yesterday, besieged Wuse II Annex of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja, in solidarity with the former governor.
Fayose, whose tenure as governor of the state, ended on Monday, reported at the EFCC office to honour an earlier invitation by the commission.
He had assured the commission that he would present himself at 1 p.m. yesterday, and at precisely 12.59 p.m., the former governor showed up at the commission’s Wuse office.
He was accompanied by Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike and former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode.
Before Fayose’s arrival, some of his supporters and rights activists had thronged the EFCC’s premises.
The supporters wore T-shirts with inscriptions as “Fayose Bold, Dogged, Constant’’ and “Fayose, the Conscience of Nigeria’’.
One of the supporters and human rights activist and lawyer (SAN), Chief Mike Ozekhome, who addressed newsmen, said “This is a government governed by constitutionalism, a constitutional democracy.
“The government should not instill fear in him and people. Fayose is here, he has reported to EFCC.
“Once a person decamps to APC, he becomes politically cleansed of his political leprosy.
“We cannot continue to live in self-denial; we cannot continue to be afraid,” he said.
Another activist, Mr Deji Adeyanju, said that they were not in support of corruption, but that they were at the EFCC as stakeholders.
“It is not that we are here to support corruption; we are here to say that if the EFCC here believes that Fayose has some questions to answer, good and fine.
“We have seen how they made Babachir come here in the afternoon and he left in the evening on the same day, and he answered questions and he was released.
“So, corruption is not fighting back; nobody is defending corruption. We are here as Nigerians and as stakeholders.
“I’m in the civil society; we are here to make sure that Fayose enjoys the same privileges that Babachir enjoyed when he came here,” he said.
A member of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Mr Dayo Akinlayo, who was among the supporters, said that he was at the anti-graft agency’s office to lend support to Fayose.
“He is our brother, he is our mentor, leader, who has done wonderfully well for Ekiti.
“He has managed Ekiti resources well in spite of the meagre resources,” he said.
Fayose, whose tenure ended on Monday, had earlier said that he would report at the EFCC on Tuesday.
In a letter to the commission some time ago, he said his term of office “to which I enjoy immunity against investigation and prosecution shall lapse by effluxion of time on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018.
“As a responsible citizen of our great country, who believes in the rule of law, I wish to inform you of my decision to make myself available in your office on Tuesday, 16th October, 2018 at 1pm.
“It is to clarify issues or answer questions within my knowledge.’’
However, the former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has said that despite his promise to turn himself in to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Abuja, the agency’s men still cordoned off his street yesterday morning.
He said he reported at the EFCC office in accordance with his promise.
Fayose arrived at the EFCC Annex in Wuse II at exactly 12.59 p.m., a minute before the 1p.m. he had promised to report at the commission.
Fayose’s tenure as governor ended on Monday midnight, and he had, on Saturday, presented a handover note to the Secretary to the Ekiti State Government.
Speaking to newsmen on arrival at EFCC office, the former governor said, “I am here in line with my promise that I will be here on the 16th of October.
“And, like I said to EFCC, they should await my arrival. This morning, they have been to my house; they cordoned off my street, which I feel personally was unnecessary. It was unwarranted.
“When a man says he is coming, Nigerians should be given benefit of the doubt.
“I had led Ekiti, and the best I could give, I have given. Therefore, every question, whatever they need to ask today, I will be able to respond appropriately.”
He had, in a letter to the EFCC sometime ago, said his term of office “to which I enjoy immunity against investigation and prosecution shall lapse on Monday, October 15, 2018.
“As a responsible citizen of our great country who believes in the rule of law, I wish to inform you of my decision to make myself available in your office on Tuesday, 16th October, 2018 at 1pm.
“It is to clarify issues or answer questions within my knowledge.’’
One of those who accompanied him to EFCC office, Rivers State Governor Wike, said, “He wrote a letter to EFCC that he will submit himself on October 16.
“He is hale and hearty, and I believe that EFCC should know he is well. Our fear from the present report that we have is that he may be harmed.
“But, let Nigerians know that he came by himself to the EFCC without anybody harassing him. So, that is why I brought him here today.”
On his part, Fani-Kayode said, “We are here to stand in solidarity with our friend and brother. He is going in hale and hearty; we trust God and we believe he will come out the same way.
“And, as authority, we take note of the fact that the international community and the whole world is watching what is going to happen here; what they are going to do to him.”
Fayose wore a T-shirt with inscription: “EFCC, I Am Here.”
He clutched a small travel bag and also bore a backpack as he was led into the commission by EFCC officials.
Meanwhile,the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike yesterday insisted that the immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose has nothing to hide.
Wike said this while explaining why he accompanied Fayose to the office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in Abuja.
Fayose had stormed the anti-graft agency office in company of Wike, former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, and his supporters.
However, Wike maintained that justice will surely take its course, adding that Fayose had served his people well.
In a tweet, Wike wrote: “I just escorted my friend and brother @GovAyoFayose to the EFCC office. We stand up to intimidation, we have nothing to fear. Justice will surely take it’s course.
“He has served his people openly and has absolutely nothing to hide. We shall overcome.”
Meanwhile, Dr Kayode Fayemi was, yesterday, in Ado-Ekiti, sworn-in as Ekiti State governor by the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Ayodeji Simeon Daramola.
It would be recalled that Fayemi had defeated the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, and 33 other candidates to win the state’s governorship election.
The 53-year-old governor is a native of Isan-Ekiti in Oye Local Government of Ekiti State.
He was defeated by Mr Ayodele Fayose in 2014.
The new Deputy Governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, was first to take the oath of office.
After taking the oath of office for his second coming to finish his eight years tenure, Fayemi inspected a guard of honour mounted by the police.
Among political leaders at the inauguration of the governor were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapher, and Governor Nasir El-rufai of Kaduna State.
One of APC national leaders, Bola Tinubu, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Ogunwusi Ojaja II, among other dignitaries, attended the ceremony.
Meanwhile, thousands of residents of Ekiti and members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, thronged the Ekiti Parapo Pavilion to witness the swearing-in of Dr Kayode Fayemi and Chief Adebisi Egbeyemi as governor and deputy governor of the state.
Fayemi, a former Minister of Mines and Steel, was sworn in as the sixth governor of Ekiti, amid pomp and ceremony.
The deputy governor, Adebisi Egbeyemi took oath of office at exactly noon, while Fayemi took his at 12:20 p.m., amid ovations from the crowd.
Fayemi served his first term as governor of the state between 2010 and 2014 under the platform of the defunct ACN.
The 14,000-seater pavilion was already filled to capacity as early as 8 a.m. by residents and party loyalists from the 16 local government areas of the state.
The early morning rain, which many regarded as a sign of good omen for the new government, did not stop people from attending the inauguration, as many were seen trekking long distances to get to the venue.
The Chairman of the Tricycle Association of Nigeria, Ekiti chapter, Mr Akinola Talabi-Ifa, had earlier declared that passengers going for the inauguration would be conveyed free of charge throughout the state as part of the union’s contribution to success of the exercise.
Most markets, shops and public offices were shut as traders and workers all moved to the pavilion to witness the ceremony.
Aside from those inside the Pavilion, several others stayed outside as they could not gain entry to the pavilion.
In carnival-like manner, men and women in different attires bearing the inscription and portrait of the new governor sang his praises while dancing and drumming.
Security in and around the venue was tight as men of the Nigerian Army, police, Customs, Civil Defence and many other security personnel searched persons going into the venue at virtually all gates.
President Muhammadu Buhari was represented at the occasion by Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.
Also present at the occasion were: Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State; Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State; Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State and Governor Abiola Ajumobi of Oyo State.
In his inauguration speech in Ado-Ekiti, Fayemi said the state’s economy was heading to a state of emergency.
The governor appealed to the federal government for assistance to bail out the state through the Economic Stabilisation Fund.
While committing to address the problems of unpaid salaries of workers, Fayemi said: “We should join hands to resuscitate the ailing economy.’’
He also called on investors and multi-national corporations to return to Ekiti.
The governor said the state was currently battling with more than N170billion debt piled up by the government of former Ayodele Fayose.
The state, he said, would embark on social investment, education, agriculture and rural development.
“We are ready to work with everyone to create a landmark progress.
“We are committing to world best practices and deploy all skills to honestly work for the progress of the state.
“We will work to integrating the aspiration of the state to the programme of the federal government.’’
He said the state would return to the fold of other states in the west to fast track economic development.
“We will take full ownership of the challenges ahead of us.’’