The Ekiti State House of Assembly has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission calling for the investigation and prosecution of the immediate past governor of the state, Kayode Fayemi, and others for allegedly “looting” the state of N40 billion.
The petition, dated October 24, 2016, and signed by the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Kolawole Oluwawole, was submitted to the EFCC in Abuja on Thursday by three members of the Assembly: the Deputy Speaker Segun Adewumi; Chairman House Committee on Information, Samuel Omotoso; and Sina Animasaun.
The petition mentioned Dapo Kolawole, Yemi Adaramodu, Abiodun Oyebanji, Oyelade (CASA Nig Ltd) and Bayo Kelekun as accomplices to Mr. Fayemi.
The Deputy Speaker, while speaking on the petition, said it was a response to alleged claims by the EFCC that it had no complaint against those holding political offices in the Buhari government.
“We have decided to submit this petition openly so that Nigerians and indeed the entire world will be able to follow it up and ask questions from the EFCC as to what has happened to it,” he said.
Mr. Omotoso, who spoke in the same vein, said the petition raised questions on issues such as the construction of new civic centre, construction of new governor’s office, management of the N25 billion bond and N5 billion commercial bank loan, construction of new government house, diversion of State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) N852.9 million, ‘fraudulent’ purchase of 156 units of Ford vehicles from Coscharis Motors, inflation of road contracts, among others.
He said the State House of Assembly could no longer pretend as if nothing was wrong in the face of the “monumental looting” of the state treasury allegedly perpetrated by immediate past APC government of Mr. Fayemi, hence the complaint to the EFCC.
“Consequent upon the resolution of the House of Assembly, we write to request for the investigation of the following allegations of fraudulent practices against the former Governor of Ekiti State and incumbent Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr Kayode Fayemi and others,” the petition which had documents attached to it, read.
The petition accused the minister of paying various sums of money for the construction of a New Civic Centre, totalling N993 million to TIANJIN-YUANG Construction Company in a non-transparent manner.
The Assembly also alleged that Mr. Fayemi paid N115.17 million for earthwork at the proposed new governor’s office, but the site was abandoned without any meaningful work done.
“Contract for the construction of the New Governor’s Office was awarded to Messrs Interkel Nig. Ltd (12, Maitama Sule Street, Southwest Ikoyi, Lagos 0812900918) on March 1, 2014. The contract sum was N2, 027,495,857.45. Out of the 30% mobilisation fee of N608, 248,757.24, a sum of N100 million was paid to the contractor with nothing to show,” the petition stated.
“N25billion bond and N5bn commercial bank loan (See document marked ANNEXURE 3) 3a. N25 billion was sourced from the capital market to finance capital projects. This was obtained in two tranches of N20 billion and N5 billion in October 2011 and January 2014 respectively.
“The Bond Prospectus, which was approved by the House of Assembly was not adhered to as the money was diverted into projects not listed in the Bond Prospectus. For instance, N1 billion was earmarked for the construction of Civic Centre whereas N1, 465,401,522.72 was spent on the project from the bond, with project left uncompleted.
“Also, the State Pavilion to which N1, 583,292,358.00 was earmarked and total sum of N1, 457,945,445.44 was paid to the contractor was left uncompleted.
“Projects funded from the Bond Proceeds but were not within the scope of the Bond Prospectus are listed in the document marked ANNEXURE 3.
“Towards the June 21, 2014 governorship election, N5 billion loan was obtained, using Fountain Holdings Limited, a company with N15 million share capital. The N5 billion loan was obtained from EcoBank without recourse to the Debt Management Office (DMO) and it was claimed that the loan was used to execute capital projects like construction of roads.
“Our question is; is it part of the responsibilities of Fountain Holdings Limited to execute capital projects like road construction on behalf of Ekiti State Government?
“For your information, Fountain Holdings Limited is an investment company owned by the Ekiti State Government. The responsibility of Fountain Holdings Limited is to manage and supervise all companies owned by the Ekiti State Government. The Share Capital of the company is N15m, and we wonder how a company with N15m Share Capital could be granted N5bn loan by EcoBank without any recourse to the DMO!
“As at today, there is no single evidence of utilisation of the N5 billion, suggesting that the loan was taken to fund Fayemi’s botched re-election bid.
“In view of the need for an all-inclusive anti-corruption fight, we implore that you act promptly by directing thorough investigation into the alleged fraudulent practices enumerated above with a view to bringing anyone found culpable to justice,” the petition stated.
But the former governor has responded to the petition, describing it as “childish” and “ridiculous.”
A statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Yinka Oyebode, said the minister would not be distracted by the allegations raised against him by the Ekiti State House of Assembly.
According to him, the allegations are baseless and calculated to distract him, “a rehash of old tales told by little minds.”
Mr. Oyebode said since the allegations lacked substance, it was bound to fail like the previous ones by the state government and its agents.
“The petition by the Assembly is nothing but another calculated attempt to distract and tarnish the hard earned reputation of the honourable minister with spurious allegations,” the statement read.
“The Ekiti Assembly and indeed the Ayodele Fayose –led administration, had spent the last two years rehearsing and rehashing all manners of ridiculous allegations in their desperate effort to taint Dr Fayemi’s reputation. As at last count they have come up with six different attempts, with varying degrees of falsehood.
“Dr Fayemi’s four years meritorious service in Ekiti remains an open book. The administration’s financial dealings and executed projects were well documented and copies of the documents are with the Assembly. We enjoin them to read the necessary portions and get the right answers to their puerile posers.
“But if their intention is to distract the Minister and paint him in corrupt garb, then they have failed, as Dr Fayemi cannot be distracted by the government’s cheap blackmail.
“At this stage of our democracy, it is sad that a whole House of Assembly would be involved in what is known as Pull Him Down Syndrome. But the good news is that Ekiti people know the difference between those who serve them well and mere pretenders.
“Dr Fayemi remains focused on his current assignment of leading the economic diversification plan of the Federal Government through the mining sector and no ill-conceived machination can distract him.”
He advised the Fayose-led government to concentrate on the provision of amenities in the state and desist from its “maniacal penchant” for falsehood and cheap blackmail.
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