The Oasis Reporters
September 12, 2018
While the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) secured a warrant to arrest four top officials of the Rivers State government in connection with a N117 billion suspicious transactions allegedly withdrawn over the counter in the last three years, the outgoing PDP governor of Ekiti state, Ayo Fayose has willingly accepted to make himself available to the financial police of the Federal government.
Accusations have been rife that the government often sends the EFCC after opposition politicians and PDP controlled states to intimidate, harass and humiliate the opposition to make them incapable of posing a credible challenge to the ruling party ahead of next year’s crucial presidential election.
The Rivers state officials, including the Director of Finance and Accounts at the Government House in Port Harcourt, Fubara Similari, and the cashier, may be declared wanted if the move to arrest them fails.
After obtaining a court’s green light to arrest the four key suspects implicated in the cash withdrawals, the EFCC has its detectives on standby to arrest them following the decision of the state government not to hand them over to the EFCC.
“The EFCC is also now empowered by the law to watch-list these state officials which will make it possible to pick them up in any part of the country and abroad,” an EFCC source revealed.
“So, we are now on the trail of the affected officials. But, if they remain underground, we may declare them wanted.
“None of the officials has immunity from arrest, investigation and prosecution.
“The reference to a 2007 court order by the Rivers State government is just a desperate attempt to cling at any straw.
“We have records to show that when Governor Nyesom Wike was Chief of Staff at the same Government House, he was invited, interrogated and detained by the EFCC on June 10, 2008.
“As a law-abiding agency, the EFCC will continue to do its work without fear or favour. We will get to the root of the illegal withdrawal of N117 billion in cash and without official records.
“This is a case of gross violation of Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011, especially sections on Special surveillance on certain transactions and limitation to make or accept cash payment.”
Complaints have been made that almost all former PDP politicians who defected to the ruling party, All Progressive Congress, APC, have had their cases with the EFCC either toned down or abandoned while harassment remains the lot of the PDP in a bid towards demonization of the opposition.
In a retort to the EFCC, Fayose equally said, “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 1. 00 pm to clarify issues or answer questions within my knowledge”, after complaining about “several and serial actions of “the EFCC “including but not limited to freezing of my accounts and attempts to secure temporary forfeiture of my properties are indicative of the commission’s desire to have me clarify some issues or answer some questions but for the immunity I enjoy under section 308 of the 1999 Constitution as the sitting governor of Ekiti State”, declared Ayo Fayose in the letter to the EFCC.
Fayose equally informed them that his immunity will lapse on Monday, October 15, 2018.
It is becoming clearer to Nigerians that the mystique and aura of the EFCC is gradually wearing thin ever since they assumed the toga of a publicity seeking and propaganda raising law enforcement body that appears to be a tool in the hands of some government officials against the opposition.