•Ex-governor asks for mattress
Former Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose is telling the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) detectives all he knows about the N4.685 billion allegedly withdrawn from the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA).
Fayose spoke yesterday after 72 hours in detention. He admitted knowing a former Minister of State (Defence) Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro, who ferried N1.299billion slush funds to him in a chartered jet.
He also said he has links with Abiodun Agbele, who allegedly bought six choice properties for him in Lagos and Abuja.
But the ex-governor added drama to his grilling when he wrote the EFCC to demand an additional mattress in his cell.
He said sleeping on two mattresses will be more comfortable for him. The EFCC was looking into his request as at the time of filing this report.
The governor, who had vowed not to speak, made a U-Turn, The Nation learnt.
Agbele and Obanikoro are central to the disbursement and receipt of N1.299billion and $5.377million to him.
“The $5, 377,000 was handed over in cash by Obanikoro to Fayose while the N1.299billion was received by Agbele on Fayose’s behalf in the presence of the ex-minister’s Aide-de-Camp who also accompanied them to the bank,” a source close to the investigation said, adding:
“From the $5million, Fayose gave his Personal Assistant Agbele about $1million which he exchanged to Naira and paid for properties on behalf of the governor.
“These assets include four in Lagos (N1.1billion) and two in Abuja worth about N500million to N700million.
“The properties, worth N1.8billion, were purchased with the said proceeds of crime.”
Fayose has been asking the EFCC to take him to court.
The source said: “Fayose will still undergo another round of grilling on Friday (today). We cannot just arraign him in court without obtaining a statement from him.
“By Friday, he has to explain the following:
- Did Obanikoro hand over cash to him and Agbele?
- What was the N1.299b meant for?
- Did Agbele buy properties for him? How did his associate acquire the six properties for him?
“So far, Fayose remains in custody till he is able to respond to issues isolated for him.”
Fayose wrote a letter to the EFCC demanding an additional mattress to sleep on.
He said one mattress was too flat to accommodate his frame in the cell.
”He has demanded for a second mattress from the anti-graft agency and I think they are looking into his request.
“They want to find out from him the type of mattress needed to make him comfortable in custody,” the source said.
Fayose’s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), said efforts had begun to secure his release from EFCC custody.
Ozekhome told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that “Fayose’s lawyers are already taking steps to enforce his fundamental human rights by getting him released.
”Yes, his lawyers will go to court to enforce his fundamental human rights.
”The EFCC has no right to keep him for over 24 hours.
“If they have done that by obtaining a Magistrate Court’s Order that will be in the form of “holding charge” which has been declared unconstitutional and illegal by the Supreme Court. Holding charge is illegal. It is unconstitutional.’’
Ozekhome said that the section of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) permitting a magistrate to detain a suspect for 14 days was illegal.
According to him, any action outside the provisions of Section 35 of the Constitution, which specifically provides for 24 hours, is illegal and unconstitutional.
The EFCC, also yesterday disowned a tape in which its Acting Chairman Ibrahim Magu is said to have claimed that nothing would happen should Fayose die in detention.
The Head of Media Wilson Uwujaren said the purported audio tape was fake.
The statement said: “The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission wishes to alert the general public about an audio recording of a conversation currently circulating in the social media in which the Acting Chairman of the Commission, Ibrahim Magu, purportedly made comments to the effect that nothing will happen peradventure Ayo Fayose, former governor of Ekiti State, dies in custody.
“Interestingly, the audio tape did not disclose the place where the conversation occurred and the person that Magu was supposedly talking to.
“Purveyors of this fake news especially a former spokesperson of a leading political party, are warned to desist.” (The Nation)