Detectives were yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, to arrest some suspects in the N4.7billion arms cash probe.
But the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) men found nobody. Their targets were said to have gone into hiding in the palatial Oke Ayoba Government House.
“They are all holed up in the place but they can’t hide forever,” an EFCC source said last night.
The EFCC has traced about N4.75 billion of the diverted $2.1 billion arms cash to Fayose and former Minister of State (Defence) Musiliu Obanikoro. Fayose accused his bankers of succumbing to what he called “EFCC intimidation” in a bid to nail him (Fayose).
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi, Fayose challenged the EFCC to publish statements made by Obanikoro, his son or any other person associated with money from the NSA office where they claimed they gave him money for the election.
He accused the EFCC of “acting a movie scripted, produced and directed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) government of President Muhammadu Buhari just to silence me being a major opposition voice in the country.”
Fayose challenged the EFCC to beam its searchlight on the funding of the APC election campaign, alleging that an oil giant donated $60 million to the campaign of the then opposition party.
“I must say it categorically that I don’t have any link financially with Obanikoro and I know as a fact that he (Obanikoro) has not; and cannot mention my name, as a beneficiary of whatever money, any company in which he has interest could have gotten from the ONSA if truly Obanikoro collected money from the ONSA as being claimed by the EFCC.
Challenging the EFCC to also beam its searchlights on the funding of APC elections, especially that of President Buhari, Fayose said; “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 probes the funding of APC elections before further funds are released to the commission.
“Most importantly, Nigerians are interested in the $60 million allegedly donated to the APC campaign by Sahara Energy, on which EFCC has been forced to suspend investigation.”
He said it was obvious that he had become the main headache of President Buhari’s administration, adding that “what they are doing now is part of their grand plot to intimidate and harass me into submission but I am not someone that can’t be cowed by threats of incarceration and death.
“I advise that they should keep their gun powder dry and wait till the end of my tenure in 2018 and I want to assure them that I will be available to answer any of their questions, no matter how unreasonable.
“Furthermore, Nigerians should know that I have been persecuted by the EFCC before, using phantom N1.2 billion poultry scam and I came out victorious. I was not only acquitted, I got N10 million judgment against the EFCC and my impeachment that was orchestrated by the EFCC was quashed by the Supreme Court.
“Nigerians should recall that it was part of this plot to get back at me because of my critical stance on Buhari’s government that the Ekiti State House of Assembly was invaded by men of the Department of State Service (DSS), placement of travel ban on me and, lately, illegal freezing of my account by the EFCC.
“I therefore make bold to state that in the overall interest of democracy and well-being of Nigerians, I will continue to speak my mind on issues bordering on governance in Nigeria. I cannot be intimidated!”