The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has asked the Nigeria Customs Service to arrest Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, if sighted at any of the Nigerian borders.
The anti-graft agency made the request in a letter signed by its acting Chairman and dated September 12 to the Comptroller General of Customs, adding that Fayose, it said was under investigation for corruption, money laundering and theft and conspiracy, may likely escape through land and air borders.
The letter sighted by Ripples, requested the Customs Service to watchlist him and arrest him if sighted.
In another letter sighted by Ripples and sighted by the Deputy Comptroller General, E,I & I of the Nigeria Customs Service, and addressed to zonal commanders of the service and others, the Customs asked its officers to act immediately on the request.
It would be recalled that Governor, whose tenure expires on the 15th October, had written to the EFCC, saying he would turn himself in for interrogation immediately after the expiration of his tenure on the 15th.
The anti-graft agency however replied Fayose that he does not have to wait for his tenure to end before visiting its offices for questioning.
Asking the governor to come in on Thursday, the 20th of September, the EFCC promised to ensure that his immunity is respected and not undermined.
It is yet be seen how the EFCC and the Customs Service hope to arrest the outgoing governor before the expiration of his tenure on the 15th, if he is sighted at the borders before then.
“There is a reasonable suspicion suggesting that he may likely leave the country either through the land borders, airports or seaports in order to evade investigation. Hence, you are kindly requested to watch-list him and arrest him,” read the letter signed by Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the EFCC.
In its response, the customs instructed all zonal coordinators, area commanders and comptrollers to monitor Fayose.
Consequently, you are requested to monitor the subject and report to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission through the provided contact details if sighted,” the customs wrote in a letter dated September 14.
Reacting to the development, Fayose said the action of the EFCC is “petty” and described his investigation as “political”.
In a tweet on Sunday, the governor said the anti-graft agency should expect him after he hands over power on October 16, as he earlier promised.
He wrote: “@officialEFCC putting my name on 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 PDP not minding their intimidation.”
The governor, speaking through Lere Olayinka, his spokesman, also accused the EFCC of irresponsibility.
“It is a further demonstration of the irresponsibility of the EFCC under Ibrahim Magu who is holding office as acting chairman illegally,” he said in a statement made available to TheCable.
“In Nigeria today, you are only a thief when you are against Buhari, those the EFCC accused of committing fraud in the past but are now members of the APC are now clean.
“The EFCC should not waste public fund, and stop acting irresponsible, the governor has written a letter to them saying that he will be in their office by October 16, and we received a response saying the governor should come on September 20th and we saw that as a show of lack of understanding of the constitution of Nigeria.
“As at today, the governor enjoys immunity against criminal prosecution and others.”
Fayose also accused the EFCC of planning to storm his residence “with about 300 to 400 policemen” and to subsequently allege that “billions of naira were recovered from the operation