There are emerging indications that the former Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, have come under pressure to fight back in the prevailing skirmishes to destroy his political career.
A party source close to the former Lagos Governor revealed to National Daily that Ambode has warned that the continuous attack against him after being denied the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State for a second term in the 2019 governorship election and obstructing his opportunity for ministerial appointment has gone beyond tolerance boundary.
The source said that the former governor at an emergency meeting with his loyalists, warned that “enough is enough” threatening that further attacks would provoke him to open the can of worms on the running of Lagos State Government from 1999.
Our source, who appealed for anonymity, said that the former Lagos Governor observed at the meeting that the Tuesday episode in which the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had their plot to allegedly plant foreign currencies at his residence in Epe foiled by the people signaled a turning point that the battle against him is changing pattern and that he is prepared to fight back henceforth. The disappointment of the EFCC in the plot to raid Ambode’s residence on Tuesday was said to be a mark of stalemate in the power tussle in Lagos State. Ambode was said to have cautioned that his calmness and loyalty should not be taken as weakness, adding that the empire may collapse when the battle is broadly opened.
National Daily investigation revealed that Ambode had fore-knowledge of the EFCC plan to raid his two residence in Lagos; and waited for them, mobilizing the people. An EFCC source disclosed to National Daily that there was division in the commission over the assignment to raid Ambode’s residence while investigations were still going on on the petition against the former governor. The source said that some of the operatives were suspicious that the impromptu search would obstruct transparency of the investigations which may make the findings and conclusions misleading. It was purported that in the midst of the disagreement and insistence of some senior officials that the operation must take place, that some other officials loyal to the former Lagos State governor put him on notice about the plot to raid his residence in Lagos.
It was alleged that while the operatives were to deepen their corruption investigations, there was also the intention to cart away certain documents with inherent records that could indict or incriminate some top party leaders and government officials in Lagos State when those documents are exposed to the public. The documents were said to contain details of payments and circumstances such payments were made to each recipient. Our source that the documents were targeted to be taken away from Ambode’s residence for destruction so that evidence of alleged corruption that may come up against many leaders in the state would be destroyed. Fortunately, or unfortunately, Ambode had prior knowledge of the strange visit to his residence by the EFCC and put necessary structures in place for resistance. “Members of Epe community – both old and young, men and women – were waiting, lawyers were waiting, selected journalists were waiting, and that was how the EFCC plot was foiled,” our source declared.
It was noted that in furtherance of the vigilance and preparedness of the former Lagos governor to fight back that his team of lawyers issued a statement in Lagos on Tuesday after the EFCC episode.
In the statement captioned: “The attempt of the EFCC officials led by Rotimi Oyedepo, Esq to incriminate the EX Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, with foreign currency; resisted by young lawyers in Epe”, the team of lawyers which comprise of Fatai A. Adebanjo, Esq., Busari M. Olanrewaju, Esq. and Samson K. Okuneye, Esq. narrated that in early hours of Tuesday, they were duly briefed that some EFCC officers invaded the apartment of Ambode with the intention to search the premises.
The lawyers on arrival at the residence held consultations with the EFCC officials to inquire and confirm if they had search warrant for the operation.
The lawyers said they objected when the EFCC officials attempted to prevent them from entering the house with them, insisting on only the EFCC officials going into the house for the search operations.
“Before they entered, we searched all the officials of the EFCC who intended to go in to effect the search.
“There was a blue bag which they were holding with them, we requested to see the content of the bag before they could take it in. They got angry and said we cannot see the content. Having said that, we strongly resisted them to take it in since they can’t allow us to see it, which they later agreed. We later got to know that the bag contained foreign currency which they brought to plant in the house of the Ex-Governor to incriminate him,” the lawyers declared in the statement they jointly signed.
The lawyers further said: “All documents, including the State Executive Exco Meetings Vol 1 – 16 in the personal study of the ex-Governor and His Luggage room which they intended to take along with them for further investigation was resisted by us as we told them that failure to take records of all the documents from A-Z, they cannot go out with anything and they agreed with us.”
The lawyers maintained: “Flowing from the aforesaid, they searched the nooks and crannies of the Ex Governor’s house and they couldn’t find any incriminating documents or materials. We authoritatively assert that, they did find anything in the house and they didn’t leave the house with anything.
“We followed them as they entered from one place to the other, when our presence was intimidating them, they said we should sit down while they will do the search. We resisted that we must follow them to observe every of their activities in the premises.”
Our source added that the episode of Tuesday brought the attack against the former governor to a stalemate, noting that all parties now have access to power at the national level; and that the governor is now ready to fight in the open.
Our source stated that the former governor has purportedly threatened to leak documents on expenditures, contracts, official and unofficial or ‘royalty’ payments to former governors and others in Lagos State if he is pushed to the wall.