The Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, has reacted to the arrest of two of his top officials by the anti-graft agency, EFCC.
PREMIUM TIMES reported the arrest of the Ekiti commissioner of finance, Toyin Ojo, and the accountant general, Yemisi Owolabi, by the EFCC on Thursday.
"They were picked up today following their refusal to honour previous invitations for interrogation in relation to pending investigation on the misuse of bail out funds by the Ayodele Fayose administration," an EFCC spokesperson said in an email to PREMIUM TIMES.
In his response, the governor, in a statement by his spokesperson, Lere Olayinka, blamed the arrest on aides of President Muhammadu Buhari.
"It is obvious that the hawks around President Muhammadu Buhari are afraid of Governor Ayodele Fayose's declaration to contest the presidential election in 2019," Mr. Olayinka said.
Read Mr. Olayinka's full statement below.
Ekiti State Government has described the arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of the State Commissioner for Finance, Toyin Ojo and the Accountant General, Yemisi Owolabi, as a further demonstration of the anti-corruption agency's irresponsibility, saying; "The EFCC is obviously living up to its
status as the attack-dog of the All Progressives Congress (APC) government, but Ekiti State government under Governor Ayodele Fayose cannot be intimidated."
Special Assistant to the State Governor on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said in a statement issued on Thursday that "it is obvious that the hawks around President Muhammadu Buhari are
afraid of Governor Ayodele Fayose's declaration to contest the presidential election in 2019, hence the usual panicky measure of arresting government officials in Ekiti on the day of his declaration, with the view to embark on another round of media trial against the governor and his government."
The government said "it is funny that the EFCC, in the bid to carry out its usual hatchet job against Governor Fayose, failed to take into cognisance the subsisting court order, which forbids any official of the Ekiti State government from being arrested by the EFCC. Up till today, the court order has not been appealed and it subsists."
The government challenged the EFCC to tell Nigerians what has been done to the loads of petitions written against the immediate past APC government of Kayode Fayemi, asking; "What has the EFCC done to those involved in the grass-cutting scam and the $43 million Ikoyi scam?"
The government said; "It is so funny and laughable that these characters in the APC government can't even disappoint for once by being unpredictable.
"Like we have said before, the game plan of those who want power in Ekiti State by force as well as those who do not want anyone to speak against President Buhari, that they see as a god, is to stifle Ekiti State government and make it impossible for the government to carry out its responsibilities.
President Mohammadu Buhari [Photo credit: Sahara Reporters]
"However, the EFCC and its collaborators should know that we have threaded this path before and we, in the government of Ekiti State won't be intimidated by the irresponsibility of a federal government anti-corruption agency that has come to see itself as instrument of harassing, oppressing, intimidating and coercing perceived opposition figures.
"On this one, let us tell these agents of the devil in the EFCC and those they are working for that as usual, they have taken on a wrong customer. This is because the more they run after Governor Fayose, the more they hit their heads on the Rock of Ages and get themselves fatally injured."