Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has cautioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against further harassment of former Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose.
National Vice Chairman (South West) of the party, Dr Eddy Olafeso, in a statement issued in Akure, the Ondo State capital decried the continuous harassment against Fayose by operatives of the EFCC.
He said “we are compelled to draw the attention of the public to the ceaseless harassment of the immediate past governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose and indeed some other prominent members of our party by the EFCC.
“This action, to say the least, is disappointing and indeed underscores the quality of leadership that currently drives this agency.
“It is imperative that we bring to the notice of all Nigerians that the EFCC has currently deployed a team of investigators to Ado Ekiti, whose main assignment is centred on a goal to manufacture evidences it hopes to use to secure an indictment of Ayo Fayose at every cost.
“This team working in active connivance with the Ekiti State government is currently housed at the Bawa Lodge of the Ekiti State Government House. Its modus operandi involves intimidating and harassing civil servants, with a view to coercing them to bear curious witness in the trial of the former governor.
“This attitude is not only cheap, but also patently criminal. We are particularly worried about this development, more so at a time the EFCC has secured the leave of the Chief Judge of the Federal High
Court to transfer the case of Fayose from a judge before whom 12 out of EFCC’s 13 witnesses have given evidence, to another judge.
“This action we find very uncomfortable and most probably inexcusable; we believe that it betrays a strange inexplicable desire. The judiciary is believed to be the last hope of the common man.
“We, therefore, want to warn that the actions that will suggest to the average man that victimisation is just and proper must be discarded. It does not simply add up that a matter, that is almost coming to conclusion is being assigned to another judge, and particularly at a time the EFCC is now domiciled in Ekiti Government House, harassing and intimidating civil servants in a desperate bid to institute another case.
“We recall that in the trial of Mrs Jumoke Akinjide, former Minister of State for FCT, the EFCC opposed the transfer of the alleged money laundering case from Justice Muslim Hassan, to Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke at the instance of the defence.
“It is strange that this same EFCC that went to court to reject the transfer of Akinjide’s case after trial had begun, now finds it convenient to apply for same process by seeking the transfer of Fayose’s case to a new judge after 12 witnesses had testified for the prosecution. This is double standard, and thus provokes a question if indeed the EFCC is working in the interest of the nation or serving other purposes.
“It is therefore important to demand that institutions of state must be seen to be impartial, absolutely, in the discharge of their allocated responsibilities.
“We again recall that Fayose willingly submitted himself to EFCC at the expiration of his tenure; it is our expectation that the EFCC should prosecute whatever charges it has against him and not subject him to what now resembles a witch hunt,” Olafeso added.