Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, on Wednesday said the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu was using the Paris Club refund to “blackmail” state governors.
Fayose made the claim while lamenting the incessant harassment of serving governors in the country, especially the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Zamfara State, Abudulazeez Yari.
In a statement by by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka , Fayose said “The EFCC is obviously blackmailing State Governors on the Paris Club refunds.”
Fayose, who said that Governor Yari, as the leader of all the State Governors in Nigeria deserved some level of respect from “Magu and his gangs in the EFCC,” added that “Rushing to court to seek forfeiture of properties on which no one had been convicted and maligning the NGF chairman is to say the least, irresponsible.”
The governor described the “onslaught on Governor Yari as a direct attack on all the governors of the 36 States” of Nigeria, adding that all the “governors to rise and protect the NGF.”
He pointed out that the Paris Club refunds was occasioned by the Federal Government’s illegal conversion of funds belonging to the States and Local Governments, adding that it was absurd that the Federal Government, which illegally used money belonging to the States and Local Governments for its own purpose was the one giving conditions as to how the refund must be spent.
“It is like a man stealing your money and now coming back to give you conditions to refund the money he stole and also telling you how to spend the money,” he said.
The governor said it was the height of rascality for the EFCC to keep feeding the public with falsehood and maligning the hard-earned integrity of Nigerians, especially former and serving governors.
“This persistent media trial is the reason EFCC has lost most of the high-profile corruption cases at the law courts.
“For instance, EFCC was the one that investigated and it was the one that went to court to file ex-parte application, seeking interim forfeiture of N500m and $500,000 it claimed was looted from the Paris Club refunds. No defence from any of the accused.
“Yet, Governor Yari is already being presented to the public as a thief by the EFCC. This irresponsibility must stop because these attacks on the person of NGF chairman by Magu and by extension the entire governors in Nigeria must stop,” he said.