Ayodele Fayose, governor of Ekiti state, says it is obvious that he has become the headache of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, but not even threats to his life will make him to stop speaking his mind.
He accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of “acting a movie scripted President Buhari just to silence him”, challenging the anti-graft agency to go after Sahara Energy which allegedly donated $60 million to the campaign of the All Progressives Congress (APC) before the election.
Fayose denied receiving any money from the office of Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser, and Musiliu Obanikoro, former minister of defence, for his election.
“I have no financial transaction whatsoever with the office of the national security adviser (ONSA) under Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro either by cash, cheque or electronic transfer,” he said in a statement signed on his behalf by Idowu Adelusi, his chief press secretary.”
“It is obvious I have become the main headache of President Buhari’s government… what they are doing now is part of their grand plots to intimidate and harass me into submission but I am not someone that can be cowed by threats of incarceration and death.
“I make bold to state that in the overall interest of democracy and well-being of Nigerians, I will continue to speak my mind on issues bordering on governance in Nigeria. I will not be intimidated!
“I advise that they should keep their gun pounder dry and wait till the end of my tenure in 2018 and I want to assure them that I will be available to answer any of their questions, no matter how unreasonable.”
On the alleged involvement of Buhari’s wife in the Halliburton scam, the governor challenged her to visit the US to convince Nigerians that she was not the Aisha Buhari mentioned in the judgment convicting William Jefferson.
He alleged that she had been running away from America, saying Buhari has gone to the country thrice in the last one year, without taking his wife, adding that Aisha delegated Toyin Saraki, wife of the senate president to a programme she was supposed to attend in the US.
“It is on record that the President has visited USA three times and his wife did not travel with him. Equally, she ought to have visited USA last year September to chair a United Nation programme but she sent wife of the Senate President, Mrs Toyin Saraki to represent her,” the statement read.
Fayose said Zenith Bank sponsored his election, but has now turned against him because of the current battle with the EFCC.
He threatened to “name names” if those who bankrolled his election are now sacred as a result of the recent developments.
“The management of Zenith Bank, which majorly funded my election, called me to a meeting where I was assured that fund will be provided for my election. I was asked to nomine a trusted ally to be related with and I nominated Mr Abiodun Agbele,” he said.
“All the payments into Abiodun Agbele’s account domiciled in Zenith Bank were directly from Zenith Bank. In actual fact, the account was opened by Zenith Bank hurriedly at that time and Abiodun Agbele’s identity card which ought to have been collected before the account was opened was only collected last week in the bank’s desperation to perfect the account obviously after submitting to the intimidation and harassment of the EFCC.
“Most of the funds posted into Agbele’s account were through the Ibadan, Akure and Lagos branches of the Zenith Bank and sometimes; they brought cash.
“Assuming but not conceding that cash moved from Lagos to Akure as being claimed by the EFCC in its usual manner of media trial, was meant for my election in Ekiti, why was the cash not moved to Ado Ekiti branch of Zenith Bank or the cash handed to me directly? Why was it deposited into Zenith Bank, Akure and did the bank make any report on the transaction to the appropriate authorities? Why did the bank send its bullion van to move the money from Akure Airport to their Akure branch if it was illegal money?
“I must say it categorically that I don’t have any link financially with Obanikoro and I know as a fact that he (Obanikoro) has not; and cannot mention my name, as beneficiary of whatever money any company in which he has interest could have gotten from the ONSA if truly Obanikoro collected money from the ONSA as being claimed by the EFCC.
“Therefore, bringing Obanikoro and his son’s narrative or that the Zenith Bank is telling different stories, having been blackmailed and coerced into submission by the EFCC is a joke that will not fly.
“I wish to state further that if it becomes evidently clear that those who willingly provided money for my election can no longer stand by what did, may be because of threat from the EFCC, I will not hesitate to name names.”