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EFCC, Customs Place Fayose on Watch List, to Prevent Foreign Trip

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  • EFCC, Customs Place Fayose on Watch List, to Prevent Foreign Trip

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.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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President Declines Nomination, Endorses Harris for 2024

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In a significant political announcement on his X.com account, President Joe Biden has decided to forgo the opportunity to seek re-election in 2024, instead throwing his full support behind Vice President Kamala Harris.

The surprise move, shared with the public this morning, represents a pivotal moment in the Democratic Party’s journey toward the upcoming presidential election.

In his statement, Biden said that his choice to step aside is driven by a desire to concentrate on his remaining duties as President.

He expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve alongside Harris, calling her selection as his Vice President in 2020 “the best decision” he has made. “My fellow Democrats,” Biden began, “I have decided not to accept the nomination and to focus all my energies on my duties as President for the remainder of my term.”

The President’s announcement signifies a strategic shift in the 2024 election landscape. By endorsing Kamala Harris, Biden not only aims to consolidate support within the party but also to set the stage for a unified front against former President Donald Trump.

“Today I want to offer my full support and endorsement for Kamala to be the nominee of our party this year,” Biden declared. “Democrats — it’s time to come together and beat Trump. Let’s do this.”

This endorsement comes as a surprise to many, given Biden’s earlier commitment to seeking re-election.

However, it reflects a broader strategic maneuver to ensure party unity and strengthen the Democratic position in the face of a formidable opponent. By focusing on Harris, Biden aims to leverage her growing popularity and political acumen to fortify the party’s chances in the upcoming election.

Kamala Harris, who has served as Vice President since January 2021, will now be thrust into the spotlight as the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Her campaign is expected to build on the legacy of the current administration while addressing key issues facing the nation.

The move also raises the stakes for the Republicans, who will need to prepare for a robust campaign from a seasoned political leader in Harris.

As the 2024 election cycle ramps up, Biden’s endorsement is likely to reshape the dynamics of the race, influencing both Democratic strategies and Republican responses.

The coming months will be critical as Harris and her team work to solidify their platform and rally support from voters across the nation.

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Kagame Dominates Election with 99.15% of Votes Counted

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President Paul Kagame has taken a commanding lead in the Rwandan presidential election, securing 99.15% of the votes counted thus far, according to the National Electoral Commission.

The provisional results, reported by the state broadcaster Rwanda Broadcasting Agency, indicate a decisive victory for the Rwandan Patriotic Front candidate.

With 79% of the ballots tallied, Kagame’s overwhelming lead leaves his opponents trailing significantly.

Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda has garnered only 0.53% of the votes, while independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana has received 0.32%.

The voter turnout has been reported at an impressive 98%, underscoring the high level of public engagement in the electoral process.

The early results suggest a strong mandate for Kagame, who has been at the helm of Rwandan politics since 2000.

Kagame’s administration has been marked by significant economic growth and development, but it has also faced criticism for its stance on political dissent and freedom of expression.

Despite this, Kagame remains a highly popular figure in Rwanda, with many citizens crediting him for the country’s stability and progress.

The National Electoral Commission is expected to release the final results in the coming days. As the tallying continues, Kagame’s supporters have already begun celebrating his anticipated victory.

Analysts believe that Kagame’s likely re-election will provide continuity in Rwanda’s economic policies and development programs.

However, they also call for more inclusive governance and respect for political freedoms to ensure long-term stability and growth.

Kagame’s near-unanimous support in the early results reflects his entrenched position in Rwandan politics.

His ability to maintain such high levels of support will be a focal point of discussion in the aftermath of the election.

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Kenya Prepares for More Protests Over Unresolved Political Crisis

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Kenya is on the brink of another wave of anti-government protests as efforts to resolve the nation’s escalating political crisis appear to have stalled.

President William Ruto’s proposal for a national dialogue has yet to take off, leaving the nation in a state of heightened tension.

Activists have called for demonstrations across the East African nation on Tuesday, protesting the government’s failure to hold security forces accountable for the deaths of at least 41 people.

These casualties occurred during protests against Ruto’s contentious plan to raise taxes over the past month.

Despite the president’s announcement last week that national dialogue would commence on Monday to defuse the situation, progress has been elusive.

The main opposition party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), expressed uncertainty regarding the proposed talks.

“We haven’t received any invitation,” ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna stated. “When called, we’ll go because we are keen on getting broad-based reforms.”

A spokesperson for the presidency indicated that parliamentary leaders were managing the planned talks, but National Assembly majority leader Kimani Ichung’wah did not respond to requests for comment.

Protests initially erupted in mid-June over Ruto’s plans to increase taxes on essential goods, including bread and diapers, aiming to raise over $2 billion to reduce the government’s budget shortfall.

The public outcry forced Ruto to abandon the proposal, but dissatisfaction remains high.

Last week, in a dramatic move to quell public anger, Ruto fired almost all his cabinet members, underscoring the severity of the discontent.

The scrapping of the tax measures is expected to widen the government’s budget deficit to 3.6% of GDP in the current fiscal year, up from a previous projection of 3.3%.

This financial strain has not gone unnoticed; Moody’s Ratings downgraded Kenya’s rating by a step to Caa1, plunging it deeper into junk status, highlighting the country’s deteriorating fiscal condition.

On Saturday, Ruto vowed to hold accountable those responsible for the recent killings. However, his efforts to address public concerns seem insufficient to stem the tide of unrest.

On Monday, he called on the Ford Foundation, an organization promoting civic engagement, to clarify its role in the protests, though the foundation did not respond to requests for comment.

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