The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to stop vilifying former Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose.
The party’s National Vice Chairman (Southwest), Dr Eddy Olafeso, issued a statement yesterday in Akure, the Ondo State capital, cautioning the anti-graft agency.
The PDP stalwart drew the attention of the public to what he called ceaseless harassment of the former governor and some other prominent members of the party by the EFCC.
The statement said: “It is imperative that we bring to the notice of all Nigerians that the EFCC has currently deployed a team of investigators to Ado-Ekiti, whose main assignment is centred on a goal to manufacture evidence it hopes to use to secure an indictment of Ayo Fayose at every cost.
“This team, working in active connivance with the Ekiti State government, is currently housed at the Bawa Lodge of the Ekiti State Government House to intimidate and harass civil servants with a view to coercing them to bear curious witness in the trial of the former governor.
“This attitude is not only cheap but also patently criminal. We are particularly worried about this development, more so at a time the EFCC has secured the leave of the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to transfer the case of Fayose from a judge before whom 12 of EFCC’s 13 witnesses have given evidence to another judge.
“This action we find very uncomfortable and most probably inexcusable; we believe that it betrays a strange inexplicable desire. The Judiciary is believed to be the last hope of the common man.
“We, therefore, want to warn that actions that will suggest to the average man that victimisation is just and proper must be discarded.
“It does not simply add up that a matter, which is almost coming to conclusion, is being assigned to another judge, and particularly at a time the EFCC is now domiciled in Ekiti Government House, harassing and intimidating civil servants in a desperate bid to institute another case”.
The PDP recalled that in the trial of Oloye Jumoke Akinjide, a former Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the EFCC opposed the transfer of the alleged money laundering case from Justice Muslim Hassan to Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke at the instance of the defence.
It said the same EFCC went to court to reject the transfer of Akinjide’s case after trial had begun, but now applying for same process by seeking the transfer of Fayose’s case to a new judge after 12 witnesses had testified for the prosecution.