By Bayo Oluwasanmi
The jury is out!
New evidence reveals that the Star of Ekitigate Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State is guilty of election rigging. The damning evidence of election rigging by Fayose would prove a lethal weapon in his prosecution and would ultimately earn him a free ticket to Kuje or Kirikiri Federal Maximum Prison. For Fayose, this is the end of the road to his political corruption spree.
TK Aluko in an exclusive interview with SaharaReporters’ correspondent published yesterday, Aluko the Secretary of Ekiti State Chapter of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and former right-hand man of Fayose “was instrumental in both the successful rigging of the Ekiti gubernatorial election and Mr. Fayose’s political ascent.” “Fayose knew from the beginning of his gubernatorial ambition that he wanted to use the military and funding from the presidency to rig the election. He had much of the idea already in his mind,” says Aluko.
According to SaharaReporters:
“Mr. Aluko disclosed to our correspondent that plotting to rig the Ekiti gubernatorial election for Mr. Fayose began as early as March 23rd, 2014 when former President Goodluck Jonathan ordered Anambra state politician Chris Uba to release $2 million to Fayose following the primary election in Ekiti State.
“Mr. Fayose, Mr. Aluko, Mr. Obanikoro, and Mr. Adesiyan met with other top PDP leaders, the military chiefs, and Mr. Jonathan in April. These leaders included Osun State Senator and gubernatorial candidate Iyolia Omisore, PDP Chairman Adamu Mu’azu; the Chief of Defense Staff Alex Badeh, Chief of Army Staff Lt. General Kenneth Minimah, and others.
“According to Mr. Aluko, ‘President Jonathan looked at Badeh and Minimah and said that ‘Fayose will stand for me as Commander -In-Chief.’
“The message was clear to the men in the room, that the election shall be delivered for Fayose by hook or crook,” Mr. Aluko added. At this meeting it was decided that “the ONSA will empower Obanikoro and Fayose with $35 million [N4.7 billion] for the election.”
With the revelation from Aluko and the Ekitigate video all fingers point a fatal picture of political corruption to Fayose. The stream of charges of embezzlement, stealing of state funds, and election rigging add a dark chapter to Fayose’s political history.
Nigerian public has grown impatient and weary of legal wranglings of Fayose. In what promises to be a dawn of a new climate with law and order, corrupt Nigerian politicians would actually go to jail henceforth. Among those likely to be imprisoned in the next few months and weeks is Governor Ayodele Fayose. Fayose has been in the run with the law since he was first exposed during his initial stint as Governor of Ekiti State between 2003 and 2006. He was accused of stealing the state funds and also lied in his asset declaration when he claimed he had only two buildings in Iyaganku area of Ibadan, Oyo State.
Fayose in 2014 prior to the rigged election that brought him back as Governor was facing a 27-count charge of conversion of public funds amounting to about N400 million. He was also docked for N1.4 billion poultry scam. The poultry project was meant for the 16 local government areas of the state. Till date, no poultry was built and no money was refunded.
He shut down the House of Assembly. He deliberately instigated carnage in the state to secure and safeguard his position as governor by using thugs and other mercenaries. These merchants of death disrupted a court hearing instituted by the aggrieved 19 All Progressives Congress (APC) legislators against Fayose. The presiding judge Hon. Justice J.A. Adeyeye of Court 3 was beaten, his clothes torn, court staff ran for dear life, court documents shredded, and pandemonium ensued.
Fayose’s tenure has been characterized as “reign of terror.” Always creating and recreating fear and terror watering his seeds of evil on a daily basis. All the 19 members of APC majority controlled House of Assembly were terrorized. They all fled to Lagos to avoid being killed by the hit squads of Fayose. He denied them of their mandate and replaced them with seven illegitimate PDP legislators. The Afe Babalola brokered peace meeting between Fayose and the 19 APC legislators was abruptly canceled by the 19 APC law makers when they were tipped off that Fayose planned to kidnap and even kill them on their way to the campus of Afe Babalola University the venue of the meeting.
Fayose, a flamboyant and pathological celebrity con artist, frequently use diversionary gimmicks to cover up his corruption, election rigging and other criminal activities. With alliances of evil minded parties to protect the corrupt and punish the innocent, allegations of vendetta politics, selective persecution and prosecution have become their common political tantrums directed at President Buhari.
Fayose, a stunt master of exceptional diversionary strategies, took a swipe at President Buhari’s anti-corruption stance, describing it as mere noise-making, witch-hunt, and diversionary tactic to hoodwink the public into overlooking the seeming failure of his administration to deliver on his electoral promises. “If President Muhammadu Buhari knows exactly where the stolen funds are kept and who looted the funds,” Fayose belches out, “he does not need all these public announcements. Rather, he should make public the names of the looters and bring back the purported stolen funds from the locations he has identified. It is when he is able to bring back the money that he should make announcements of recovered funds.”
“No one sits with corruption to fight corruption,” Fayose insists, “because as it is today, President Buhari is sitting among corrupt people and he must first extricate himself from the comity of corruption that he is before his anti-corruption stance can be accorded respect.”
For long, Nigerians have expressed optimism that corrupt politicians like Fayose would actually see the inside of a cell, but also feared the convicted might find yet another legal loophole to avoid prison. But not any more. The conviction of Fayose is as sure as the night follows the day. The evidence is overwhelming. Forget about immunity. Fayose is not qualified under the immunity clause in this instance.
Immunity from prosecution under the Nigerian Constitution applies “only to sitting governors.” The Aluko revelation about how Fayose was rigged into office and the Ekitigate video took place before Fayose became governor. Election rigging is a serious criminal offense in itself. The fact that Fayose rigged the gubernatorial election means his election as governor is null and void. Effective immediately, he should cease to be the governor of Ekiti State while he’s gong through criminal proceedings.
With the new Sheriff in town, what’s going on now in Nigeria really is something of a revolution. All of a sudden, the courts are no longer taking a relaxed view and corrupt and compromised position on political corruption. The court appearance of Bukola Mesujamba Saraki the Senate President and Olisa Metuh the national Publicity Secretary of PDP and other political heavy weights, is a welcome development. The experiences of these criminals in the hands of the law send a strong signal that political position and popularity will not be enough to save corrupt politicians from jail henceforth. It is heart warming to say that more top politicians are sure to go to jail in future.
The rule of law is coming back!
This article was first published on Sahara Reporters.