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Kamarudeen Ogundele, Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has said the imminent defeat of President Muhammadu Buhari in a free and fair election in 2019 is the main reason the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government is harassing and intimidating his aides and associates.
He also said the “blunt truth” he told Nigerians during his declaration of interest that Buhari and the APC had nothing good to offer Nigeria had pierced the conscience of APC leaders and given them wounded heart.
He, however, said he wouldn’t be intimidated into abandoning a “divine project” of rescuing the country from maladministration.
Fayose, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, on Friday, said notwithstanding the “needless harassment,” whoever thought he could stop a moving train with bare hands would have himself to blame in the end.
The governor described the arrest of two officials of the state by agents of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as the height of impunity because a competent court of jurisdiction had ordered against such action.
The governor said the action of the EFCC was in flagrant disobedience to the orders of Justice Taiwo. O. Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Ado-Ekiti, granted on November 7, 2016, in the case of the Attorney General of Ekiti State versus EFCC, IGP and 16 others.
The order reads in part, “An order of interim injunction restraining the 1st and 2nd defendants (the EFCC and the Inspector-General of Police, their agents, privies or any other investigative agencies, howsoever described) from arresting, detaining or investigating any person or persons, whether past or present officials in the Ekiti State Government, without any report of indictment from the Ekiti State House of Assembly pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice filed in this suit.”
While contending that the order of the court had not been vacated or appealed by the agency, the governor added that the agency’s action showed desperation and political partisanship, as it had earlier petitioned against Justice Taiwo asking that the case be transferred to Akure, Ondo State.
Fayose further said, “The new judge declined jurisdiction because he held that the EFCC’s case lacked merit and the case file was returned to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, who has yet to assign the case.
“The latest action by the EFCC is therefore premeditated, malicious, politically-motivated, contemptuous and unconstitutional in all ramifications. It is another clear and undisguised evidence of gangsterism by an agency that derives its power from the constitution but uses it for political vendetta against the opposition.
“While we call on all men and women of conscience to call the EFCC and whoever is goading them along perilous path to order, we must warn that no harm must come the way of the illegally detained Ekiti State Government officials, who have health issues, which they will be hampered to manage effectively in EFCC’s crushing detention.
“Not obeying court orders is not the hallmark of democracy, but a virtue of anti-democratic agents. Colonel Dasuki Sambo, former National Security Adviser, is still being held despite numerous court orders to the contrary. Ibrahim el Zakzaky has been locked up unduly for months; this is not the democracy we fought to enthrone in Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State has criticised the governor for declaring the ambition to contest the 2019 presidential election while owing workers salaries and allowances in the state.
The party said the governor’s action was the height of insensitivity to the people’s plights and “irresponsible conduct to behave as if Ekiti State treasury was a personal estate for private comfort.”
Fayose had on Thursday declared his presidential ambition at a ceremony held in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
But in a statement by the Ekiti State APC Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, the party flayed the governor for “being blind to the sufferings of workers while pursuing self-promoting presidential ambition.”
He said, “It is the height of wickedness for Fayose to always call teachers to meetings like he did this week to brainwash them on the state’s poor finances and later give them N1,500 pittance for transport until the next brainwashing session with these teachers in empty stomachs while he enjoys full life misapplying state’s money for his fancies.
“This is more condemnable against the backdrop of facts available to Ekiti people that Fayose has been awarding contracts at bloated costs to his friends outside Ekiti State, contrary to his promise to patronise indigenous contractors during his campaigns.”
Olatunbosun contended that the money the state had collected so far since the governor’s assumption of office was enough to make the people happy if he had applied the money honestly and transparently.
He added, “The presidential declaration is a distraction to keep Ekiti busy from keeping attention to his illegality in the application of Ekiti’s money for selfish purposes and a ploy to embark on whipping up sentiments to escape justice in his misapplication of Ekiti’s money.”
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