The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has set up a special team to interrogate Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State next week. Fayose, who has been governor since October 16, 2014, will lose his immunity at exactly 11.59pm on October 15, 2018, thereby giving the EFCC the constitutional right to arrest, detain and prosecute him.
The governor is expected to report at the EFCC head office in Abuja to meet with the commission’s Director of Operations, Umar Mohammed, after which he will be grilled by a team of operatives.
Fayose is under investigation for allegedly receiving over N1.2bn from a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), through a former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro.
The money was allegedly handed over to Fayose during the build-up to the 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State.
His aide, Abiodun Agbele, and others had been arraigned by the EFCC but Fayose was excluded because of his immunity.
“We are expecting Fayose to show up at our office next week. He has nowhere to run to since he is under security watch and cannot leave the country through any land border, seaport or airport. We have also set up a special team of investigators that will interrogate him immediately after the expiration of his tenure,” said an EFCC source.
The governor is expected to be arraigned after investigations, which is apart from the alleged N1.2bn fraud and also include alleged contract fraud.
A spokesman for Fayose, Idowu Adelusi, said his principal was ready for the EFCC, noting that the governor had written a letter to the EFCC indicating his readiness to appear before the commission next week.
“Governor Fayose is an honourable man. He will not run away. He has already stated that he will make himself available next Monday once his tenure expires. He made this clear in a letter recently. Even when he was not under immunity, the governor honoured the EFCC invitations.
“The EFCC is not a court of law and cannot declare a person guilty. The governor will be available next week, no doubt.”
Meanwhile, Fayose has filed a N20bn suit against the EFCC for placing him on watch list and directing security agencies to arrest him, if he attempts to travel out of the country.
He said the directive against him despite being a sitting governor breached his constitutional immunity and exposed him to public opium and ridicule.
Fayose had in a September 3, 2018 letter by his counsel, Obafemi Adewale, given the EFCC 72 hours to withdraw the request/directive to security agencies and publish a written apology in three national newspapers and the social media.
A statement issued on Tuesday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said the suit was consequent upon the EFCC’s failure to accede to his demands as contained in the letter.
Recall that EFCC had tweeted on July 16, 2018 through its official twitter handle @officialEFCC concerning Governor Fayose that, “The parri (party) is over, the cloak of immunity is torn apart and the staff broken, Ekiti Integrated Poultry/Biological Concepts Limited N1.3bn fraud case file dusted off the shelves. See you soon.”
In the suit, Fayose demanded among other things; an order of the court mandating the EFCC to pay the sum of N20bn as general damages to what he called “flagrant, deliberate, pre-meditated and reckless libel and unprovoked attack on his character and reputation and the breach of his constitutional right/immunity as an incumbent governor.”
He asked the EFCC to tender a written apology, which should be circulated to all security agencies in Nigeria and that same should be published in at least three widely read national newspapers and the social media.
The governor also sought a declaration that the statements contained in the EFCC’s letter of September 12, 2018, and addressed to all security agencies n Nigeria portrayed him as a criminal, a fugitive and a run-away from the law, and that the statements were not true, were malicious, and not fair.
He asked the court to further declare “that the EFCC’s letter placing him on watch list and directing his arrest on sight even while a sitting governor is unconstitutional as same offends the clear provision of Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) which clothes him with immunity against arrest and prosecution as an incumbent governor.”
“That the tweet by the defendant (the EFCC) through its official twitter handle, which was widely circulated through social media and published in Punch Newspaper (online) of 16th July, 2018, with the particular wordings pleaded in the statement of claim filed along with this Writ is not true, is malicious, is not a fair statement and presents the plaintiff as a fraudster thereby ridiculing him and reducing him in the eyes of reasonable and right-thinking members of the society.”
NIJ appoints new deputy provost, acting registrar
The governing council of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Lagos, has approved the appointment of a new deputy provost, Dr Dele Omojuyigbe and an acting registrar, Mrs Patricia Kalesanwo for the institute. The Witness reports.
In a statement signed by the Provost of the Institute, Mr Gbemiga Ogunleye and obtained by The Witness on Friday, the council said the appointments take effects immediately.
Dr Omojuyigbe, a seasoned journalist holds a Doctorate Degree in English Language from the University of Ibadan, and Post Graduate Diploma in journalism from the College of Journalism, Lagos.
The Witness reports that he held the position of the head of department, General Studies for over a decade and worked as a journalist in Daily Times of Nigeria and other media houses. Dr Omojuyigbe was a visiting member of the editorial board of Daily Independent newspaper.
She holds a Master Degree in Adult Education (Communication of Arts) from the University of Ibadan and has also worked as a journalist with the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Ibadan Zonal office.
BREAKING: Nigerian footballer contracts coronavirus
A Nigerian footballer, King Paul Akpan Udoh, who is an Italian-Nigerian player, has become the first footballer to be infected with the coronavirus.
The Witness reports that King Paul who currently plies his trade with Pianese, an Italian Serie C side, was diagnosed with the disease on February 27, and he has been quarantined.
The 22-year-old Pianese forward started his career with Reggiana before moving to Juventus in 2011 where he was loaned back for a year. After progressing through the youth ranks of Juventus, the Nigerian footballer secured a loan move to Virtus Lanciano, a Serie B side in 2016 with an option to buy at the end of the season.
However, after failing to impress, Udoh was returned to Juventus and then loaned to Lega Pro side Pontedera later the same year. He had a loan stint with Pontedera, Fernana, Fano and Viareggio before joining Pianese on July 14, 2019.
The deadly coronavirus has spread from China to countries in Europe, the Middle East, the Americas and Africa with Italy being the country in Europe with the highest number of reported cases.
This online news platform understands that some Italian Serie A matches were postponed last weekend as a preventive measure against the spread of the virus.
On Friday, the Lagos state government and the federal ministry of health confirmed the first case of coronavirus in Nigeria. The index patient is an Italian who arrived in the country on Tuesday, February 25.
Nigerian Footballer Contracts Coronavirus
Dr Osagie Ehanire, the minister of health, confirmed the case in a statement issued in the early hours of Friday, February 28, 2020, saying that the case involves an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and just returned from Milan, Italy on the 25th of February 2020.
This online news platform understands that the statement said the Italian was confirmed to be positive by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The ministry said in a statement that: “The case, which was confirmed on the 27th of February 2020, is the first case to be reported in Nigeria since the outbreak in China in January 2020.
“The case is an Italian citizen who entered Nigeria on the 25th of February from Milan, Italy for a brief business visit. He fell ill on the 26th February and was transferred to Lagos State Biosecurity Facilities for isolation and testing. COVID-19 infection was confirmed by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. The patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.
“The Government of Lagos State under the Governor as the COVID-19 Incident Commander, through the Lagos State Ministry of Health, has been strengthening measures to ensure that any outbreak in Lagos is controlled and contained quickly in collaboration with the multi-sectoral Coronavirus Preparedness Group, led by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). We have immediately activated the State Emergency Operations Centre to respond to this case and implement firm control measures.
“I wish to assure all Lagosians and Nigerians that we have been strengthening our preparedness since the first confirmation of cases in China. We will use all the resources made available by the State and the Federal Government to respond to this case.
“We are working to identify all the contacts of the patient since he arrived in Nigeria. Please, be reminded that most people who become infected may experience only a mild illness and recover easily, but it can be more severe in others, particularly the elderly and persons with other underlying chronic illnesses,” the statement read in part.
Nigerian senate slams FG over Coronavirus
Ahmad Lawan, the President of the Nigerian Senate, on Thursday, accused the Federal Ministry of Health of not putting serious measures in place to prevent the outbreak of coronavirus in Nigeria.
He, however, asked the Senate Committee on Primary Health Care to liaise with the ministry to intensify screening of passengers at the nation’s airports and seaports.
Lawan stated this following a point of order by the Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Ajayi Boroffice.
Boroffice drew the attention of the Senate to the failure of health personnel at the airports and seaports to screen passengers coming into the country.
Recall, an Italian citizen who traveled to Lagos, Nigeria’s economic nerve center, is the first confirmed case of coronavirus in sub Saharan Africa, according to the country’s Health Ministry.
The senator said the coronavirus screening at the South African airport usually takes up to 30 minutes before passengers would be allowed to disembark the aircraft.
He said the situation was different on his arrival at the Nigerian airport, when the health officials at the nation’s airports merely issued a form to passengers to indicate if they were sick or not.
He said, “There is no form of any screening of passengers for coronavirus by Nigerian officials at the airport.
“It’s worrisome, situations where travelers coming into the country were not dully screened for the dreaded virus based on his experience at the airport.”`
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