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Don’t Allow Fayose Leave the Country, EFCC Writes Customs

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has written to the Nigeria Customs Service to place the outgoing Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, on its watch list and prevent the governor from leaving the country through any land, air or sea borders.

The NCS has granted the request and circulated the EFCC directive to its area and zonal commands, directing that “you are to monitor the suspect and report to the EFCC through the provided contact details if sighted.”

The EFCC Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, in a letter dated September 12 to the Customs’ Comptroller General’s office, stated that Fayose was under investigation and there was a suspicion that he might leave the country to evade the commission’s investigations.

Fayose, whose tenure will end on Monday, October 15, had last Monday written to the EFCC chairman, agreeing to report at the EFCC office on October 16 “to clarify issues or answer questions on issues within my knowledge.”

The governor’s letter was titled, “Notification of my decision to make myself available in your office to clarify issues or answer questions on issues within my knowledge” in which he noted that the EFCC was at liberty to pick another date if it was not satisfied with an October 16 appointment.

The EFCC had replied Fayose in a report on Saturday that he could report at the commission’s headquarters on September 20 for questioning, instead of waiting till his immunity lapsed on October 16.

In the letter with a reference number, ‘EFCC/EC/GC/31/2173’, and signed by the EFCC’s Director of Operations, Umar Mohammed, the anti-graft agency asked the governor to be obliged to come to the EFCC before the expiration of his tenure.

Our correspondent learnt on Sunday that the EFCC acting Chairman, Magu, had written to the Customs to place Fayose on its watch list and prevent any attempt by the governor to leave the country through air, land or sea borders.

Magu’s letter with a reference number, CR:3000/EFCC/ABJ/EG/TA/VOL.59 and dated September 12, is titled, “Request for watch-listing of persons, the case of conspiracy, abuse of office, official corruption, theft and money laundering.”

The commission wrote, “The under listed suspect is under investigation in connection with the above-mentioned offences and there is reasonable suspicion suggesting that he may likely leave the country either through the land borders, airports, seaports in order to evade investigation. Hence, you are requested to watch-list and arrest him.

“You are further requested to contact the commission through the following numbers in the event of his arrest. Name of the suspect: Fayose Ayodele Peter, Address: Ekiti State Government House, Ekiti State.”

The NCS in a letter, dated September 14, to its zonal coordinators, Customs area controllers, granted the request.

“Consequently, you are requested to monitor the suspect and report to the EFCC through the provided contact details if sighted,” the NCS letter partly said.

It was also learnt that apart from the Customs, the EFCC has also reached out to the police, the Nigerian Immigration Service and the Department of State Services to monitor Governor Fayose’s movements and arrest him in case he attempts to leave the country.

A source in the EFCC said, “The letter was copied to the police and the DSS. So, all the security agencies and border authorities have been notified about the governor in order to ensure that he does not flee the country.”

However, Fayose has berated the EFCC for putting his name on the watch list describing such move as political and petty.

A press statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi,  in Ado Ekiti on Sunday, quoted Fayose as saying he was in the Peoples Democratic Party and would remain there not minding any form of intimidation.

Fayose said he was not among those who were afraid to face tomorrow, reminding the anti-graft agency that nobody was God and God was not a man that He would condone injustice.

The governor stated that he had earlier informed the EFCC through a letter that he would come to their office on October 16, 2018. He wondered why the desperation, insisting that he would report on that day.

The statement read, “EFCC, when a woman is being brought to you as a wife, you don’t have to peep through the window to see her. As I said in my letter, Insha Allah, I will be in your office on October 16, a day after the expiration of my tenure.

“Putting my name on a watch list after notification of my coming is not only political but petty. I’m not among those who are afraid to face tomorrow. Nobody is God. They should expect me on October 16, 2018. I will remain in the PDP not minding their intimidation.”

Meanwhile, Fayose has said that he has neither obtained loans from any bank or bonds from the capital market since he assumed office on October 16, 2014.

He challenged the Debt Management Office and the All Progressives Congress to publish such record if available.

The governor also took a swipe at the Federal Government for releasing N16.6bn Paris Club Refund to Osun State about two weeks to the governorship election when that of Ekiti was withheld in a similar circumstance.

He said the refusal of the Federal Government to pay Ekiti the refund of the money spent on federal projects and withholding the Paris Club refund accounted for why workers’ salaries were not paid.

Fayose stated these on Sunday in a reaction to an allegation by the Transition Committee set up by the APC Governor-elect, Dr Kayode Fayemi, claiming that the state’s debt profile stood at N117bn.

He said, “I have not committed Ekiti to one Naira since I assumed office as governor for the second term. I haven’t borrowed from any financial institution.  The DMO and the Federal Ministry of Finance are the approving authorities. Fayemi should publish any document from these approving authorities showing any money borrowed by my administration.

“I did not borrow from any financial institution or take any bond from the capital market. The figure which Fayemi is talking about is the money his administration borrowed which was restructured as it was done for other states.

“The administration of Fayemi brought Ekiti to N25bn bond and N32bn commercial loan and the state will pay the bond until year 2022. The commercial loan was restructured like it was done for other states,” he claimed.

The governor also justified the purchase of a new vehicle for himself and approval of the severance packages of his deputy and himself.

“When Fayemi was leaving as governor in 2014, he left with a car which he bought for himself and so did other governors before him. So, you can’t expect me also not to have a befitting car when I am leaving office. Fayemi is only displaying hypocrisy.

“Fayemi himself ordered a Jeep of almost N70m when l was still Governor-elect in 2014, but he didn’t pay for it. I had also bought a Jeep for former Governor Niyi Adebayo to honour him. That is how it is done every four years.”

On why he owes workers, he said, “If the Federal Government has paid all the outstanding debt it owes Ekiti, l would not owe salary now. The Federal Government owes Ekiti budget support of two months now, the Paris Club refund was withheld and they have refused to also pay the refund of N11bn for the federal roads which the state constructed.

“If they had paid these outstanding, I wouldn’t owe Ekiti workers any salary now. Deliberately, they withheld them so that I am not able to offset the four months workers’ salaries before the Ekiti election.  Still, Ekiti people voted for the Peoples Democratic Party.”

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You’ve Nothing to Offer Nigerians, Only Insults, Akwa Ibom Gov Slams Tinubu

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Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, on Monday, replied the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, saying that he (Tinubu) always resorts to abusing and insulting people during campaigns because he has nothing to bring to the table for Nigerians.

He also said that despite being insulted by the former Lagos State Governor, he would prefer to allow peace to reign by ignoring him and focusing on helping install good governance to rescue Nigerians from their present woes.

Emmanuel spoke on Monday evening at Government House, Uyo while inaugurating newly appointed Permanent Secretaries, Chairmen and Members of Boards and Commissions, as well as a Transition Committee to ensure the smooth transition of power to the next administration.

Recall that Tinubu had during his rally in Uyo Monday afternoon, reportedly said, “Akwa Ibom, that boy wey bring Atiku here, wey de call himself Governor, tell him enough is enough! He lives in my backyard in Lagos, If no be say we be one, I would have driven him home. You see that mansion he is living, I would just use lizards, pigeons and scorpions to put him inside.“

But reacting few hours later, the Akwa Ibom State Governor said, “for the country to remain in peace, one party must ‘play saint’ and that is why he would refrain from replying Tinubu.

Emmanuel who is the Chairman of the PDP presidential campaigns said, “I also go to other states, and if you watch our campaigns, my principal (Atiku Abubakar) has never spoken about any Governor, he has never spoken openly about Asiwaju before.”

He added that it was unfortunate that Tinubu, who was granted state-owned facilities such as the airport, security, stadium, and a good atmosphere to come in and sell his manifesto, ended up coming to insult the integrity of over 7.9 million Akwa Ibom people.

The Governor wondered if it is possible for any Akwa Ibomite to go to Lagos that Tinubu stays or the actual state that he hails from, to insult Tinubu in like manner and still be allowed to safely return home, “but here our people at the stadium including some state governors just laughed and applauded him.”

“What makes him think he will govern Nigeria? If I reply him now, people will call me and say, haba oga you are not like that. But I will reply him one day. There is nothing like ‘emilokan’ (it is my turn) here, Nigeria is in God’s hands.”

He maintained further that despite being the highest revenue contributor to the federation account, Akwa Ibom State has not gotten a single kilometre of road from the APC-led Federal Government for nearly 8 years adding that the poor response from the Federal Government also caused the delayed commencement of the seaport in the state.

Meanwhile, the governor thanked the newly appointed Permanent Secretaries for accepting the onerous task of service, and urged them to see themselves as ambassadors and work towards raising the bar of leadership which would encourage productivity and promote good working relationship with subordinates in the service.

“This is one thing I promised Akwa Ibom people that appointment of Permanent Secretaries shall be totally on merit and not by mercy, let those that can do the work be given the opportunity. Permanent Secretary is not a promotion, it is an appointment on merit.

Governor Emmanuel also reiterated his commitments towards enhancing efficiency within Civil Service, noting that during his administration civil servants have been promoted on yearly basis.

He assured that before he exits office more Permanent Secretaries would be appointed into the service to fill vacant positions left by the ones who retired.

Addressing Chairmen of Boards and Commissions, Governor Emmanuel who described them as pillars in government, acknowledged their commitment particularly, Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Environmental Protection & Waste Management Agency, Prince Akpan Ikim, for winning laurels for the state through his outstanding performance in keeping and making the state the cleanest in Nigeria for five consecutive years from 2018 through 2022, and tasked others to create an impact that will stand them out.

In the same vein, the Transition Committee members were handed the task of ensuring a seamless transition of government to an incoming administration, and also verify all projects executed by the present administration.

The newly appointed Permanent Secretaries are; Mfon Inuaesiet Edemekong Esq., Dr. Stephen Effiong, Atim Chelly Okoko, Iquo Okon Abia Esq., Uwem Sunday Andrew-Essien, Isaiah Robson Ntekim and Emaeyak Nyong Akpan as Auditor-General for Local Government.

The Transition Committee has Mrs. Ekereobong Umoh -Chairman, Uko Udom SAN, Prof Augustine Umoh, Dr. Ini Adiakpan, Mrs. Nsemeke Daniel, Dr. Nathaniel Adiakpan, Mr Elijah Udoiyak, Mrs. Esther Inyang, Pastor Uwem Andrew-Essien, Mr. Isaiah Ntekim, Mr. Effiong Ekpenyong and Mrs. Bella Akpanya as members.

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PDP Condemns Attack on Buhari in Kano, Blames Tinubu, Ganduje

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The Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council, has blamed the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, for the attacks on the convoy of President Muhammadu Buhari, during a visit to the state on Monday.

The spokesperson of the campaign council, Dino Melaye, who shared one of the videos from the reported attack, wrote, “The fight between Tinubu and Buhari is entering a new dimension. The attack in Kano was properly coordinated and funded allegedly by Asiwaju.

“The meeting to push Buhari to submission or face sponsored attack in the north was said to be hatched in Bourdillon. Me, I am busy with Atiku.”

A political activist, Deji Adeyanju, who shared another video of the reported attack, said, “They are showing Buhari and APC Shege in Kano and many northern states.”

Similarly, the PDP in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, on Monday also blamed Tinubu and the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, for the attack.

According to the party, the attack was designed to undermine the Presidency, cause confusion, trigger violence in the country, disrupt the conduct of the 2023 general elections “and derail our democracy having realised that he cannot win in a peaceful, free and fair electoral process.”

The statement read in part, “The PDP invites Nigerians to note how Governor Abdullahi Ganduje attempted to abridge President Buhari’s movement and even tried to stop him from visiting Kano State.

“More disquieting is the fact that the APC Presidential Campaign sought to humiliate and harm President Buhari while performing his official duties in Kano.

“It should be noted that the APC presidential candidate has been displaying open aversion and making inciting statements against President Buhari since Mr President’s declaration, in line with democratic best practice all over the world that Nigerians should freely vote for any candidate and party of their choice in the 2023 general elections.

“The apparent frustration of Asiwaju Tinubu to resort to encourage or condone violence is fueled by his entitlement mentality, that it is his turn to be President, despite his numerous ineligibility and disability baggage.”

Ologunagba reminded Nigerians about Tinubu’s infamous statement in London where he declared to his supporters that “political power is not going to be served in a restaurant, it is not served a la carte.”

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Organ Harvesting: Ekweremadu Battles for Freedom, Appears in Court Tuesday

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A former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, will on Tuesday appear again in court in the United Kingdom where he has been accused of human trafficking.

The lawmaker was in June 2022 arrested at Heathrow Airport in London after Staines Police Station received a report from a young man claiming to have been trafficked into the UK.

The young man, who made the report shortly after arriving in the UK from Nigeria, also alleged that he was made to undergo some medical tests, none of which he consented to.

Ekweremadu was immediately arraigned before a Magistrate’s Court for bringing a child into the UK to harvest his organs.

While the lawmaker had been in custody since June 23, his wife, Beatrice, who was arrested with him, was granted bail by a criminal court in London shortly after their arrest.

Monday (today) makes it 221 days since Ekweremadu was placed in the custody of UK authorities.

The case against the lawmaker which had been slated for May was later scheduled for January 31.

The 60-year-old, who denied the allegations against him, will again appear before High Court Judge, Mr Justice Johnson.

His daughter, Sonia, had on November 7, 2022, appeared in court to defend the accusation of trafficking a homeless man into the UK to harvest his organs for herself.

According to Daily Mail, the 25-year-old, who is battling a kidney-related illness, pleaded not guilty to the charge level against her when she appeared again in court on January 13.

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