The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has commenced moves to seize some properties linked to Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, The PUNCH has learnt.
According to the EFCC, houses to be seized are four duplexes on Victoria Island in Lagos State and one located at 44 Osun Crescent, Maitama, Abuja.
A reliable source told our correspondent on Thursday that the houses were allegedly purchased with illegitimate funds, stating that the EFCC could invoke the Assets Forfeiture clause to seize the properties in line with sections 28 and 34 of the EFCC (Establishment Act) 2004 and Section 13 (1) of the Federal High Court Act, 2004.
The EFCC is currently investigating Fayose for allegedly receiving N1.219bn from the Office of the National Security Adviser through a former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, who is currently in school in the United States of America.
After freezing Fayose’s Zenith Bank accounts, the anti-graft agency alleged that it had uncovered details of how the governor had been receiving kickbacks from state contractors.
The source added, “Investigations showed that the properties were bought with bribes from Ekiti State contractors. Some of the properties were not bought in Fayose’s name but through proxies. So, we will seize all the properties by God’s grace.”
The EFCC had, in a 10-paragraph counter-affidavit deposed to by Tosin Owobo, accused Fayose of using the proceeds of crime to purchase properties.
The affidavit reads in part, “Apart from fraudulently retaining the sum of N1,219,490,000 being part of the N4,745,000,000 stolen from the treasury of the Federal Government through the Office of the National Security Adviser, the applicant (Fayose) has also received gratification in form of kickbacks from various contractors with the Ekiti State Government such as Samchese Nigeria Limited, Tender Branch Concept Nig. Limited, Hoff Concept Limited and Calibre Consulting Limited.
“The applicant (Fayose) received these kickbacks and gratification through Still Earth Limited and Signachorr Nigeria Limited. In turn the applicant (Fayose) instructed the Still Earth Limited and Signachoor Nigeria Limited to use the funds to acquire properties for him.
“In complying with the applicant’s instruction, Still Earth Limited and Signachoor Nigeria Limited acquired properties on behalf of the applicant (Fayose) in the name of a company, known as J.J. Technical Services Limited, belonging to the applicant (Fayose) and his wife (Feyisetan).
“That the applicant (Fayose) also used the name of one Mrs. Moji Ladeji (the applicant’s sister) to acquire a property situated at 44 Osun Crescent, Maitama, Abuja, from the proceeds of the alleged offences of receiving gratification and kickbacks.”
In his reaction, however, Fayose said all the properties linked to him were not bought with stolen funds.
In a statement by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, the governor said any property that might be linked to him or his company was “bought legitimately and his properties were duly declared in his assets declaration form and sources of such funds were not illicit.”
He said since the money he got for his election was from legitimate sources and not from the ONSA, “how the money is spent remains his own business and not that of anyone.”