We can’t stop Fayose from contesting for Ekiti governorship – EFCC


June governorship election in Ekiti.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has said that although it is prosecuting Ayo Fayose for fraud, it cannot stop him from contesting for the Ekiti governorship poll.

Mr. Fayose on Saturday emerged the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the June governorship election in Ekiti. He is being prosecuted by the EFCC for allegedly stealing over N400 million of state funds during his first stint as governor, 2003-2006.

The Head, Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, told journalists on Thursday that only the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had the right to decide who was eligible to contest elections in Nigeria.

Mr. Uwujaren while fielding question from journalists in Abuja said the EFCC was not saddled with the responsibility of clearing electoral candidates.

Mr. Uwujaren also spoke on the successful prosecution of a former Pension Account Director, Shuaibu Teidi. Mr. Teidi was convicted by Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja on March 4.

The pension fraudster was one of the accused persons charged with 22 counts of obtaining money under false pretence from the Federal Government, and concealing N18.3 billion.

He disclosed that Brifina Hotel, Durumi District, Abuja, belonging to Mr. Teidi, was forfeited to the Federal Government. The hotel was found to have been acquired through Mr. Teidi’s company, Badawulu Ventures, for N339 million with proceeds of the fraud. The request of forfeiture was granted by Justice Ademola after an interim request was secured form Justice Adamu Bello.

On asset recovered from a former Bayelsa State governor, Dieprieye Alamieyeseigha, Mr. Uwujaren reminded journalists that the then state governor, Timipre Sylva, received the asset from the then EFCC chairman, Farida Waziri.

The various asset which included, Chelsea Hotel, Abuja, were valued at £2, 000 (N543,000), $441,000 (N7.27 million), N3.1 billion and 7, 000 Euros. They were returned to the Bayelsa State government, the spokesperson said.

Mr. Uwujaren commended the Bayelsa State government for distancing itself from a case allegedly being planned to demand the whereabouts of the Alamieyeseigha asset from the EFCC.

Warning that the commission would not tolerate any form of attack on it operatives, the spokesperson also recounted that a suspect, Tajudeen Oluwanishola, trying to evade arrest on March 18, ran over an operative of the commission, Johnson Barde, at Gbagada Estate, Lagos.

Mr. Oluwanishola, who was later apprehended by the police, is being investigated for alleged internet banking fraud. The EFCC operative, Mr. Barde, was rushed to Military Hospital, Ikoyi where he was treated.

Mr. Uwujaren also noted that the EFCC had stepped up its game in the investigation of judicial officers. He said that a number of prominent officers of the judiciary were being quizzed while some others have been invited for interrogation.

He said it would be premature to give details of these investigations as most of them were mere allegations. He said the public would be briefed in due time when prima facie cases have been established.

Mr. Uwujaren also urged members of the public with useful information on one of the petrol subsidy suspects, Seun Ogunbambo, to contact any of the commission’s offices across Nigeria.

Mr. Ogunbambo, having failed to appear for trial after he was granted bail, was declared wanted by the commission along with his company, Nasaman Oil; and two other suspects, Christian Taylor and Mamman Nasir. They are all being tried for allegedly obtaining N5.64 billion from the Federal Government as Subsidy Petroleum Support Fund for the importation of over 61 million litres of Petroleum Motor Spirit, PMS.

Mr. Ogunbambo is also being tried for obtaining N610 million under false pretence.

Mr. Uwujaren also noted that the allegations against the former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, was complex and at the appropriate time, when the commission was done with its investigations, details would be made public.