A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos this morning ordered that all the property acquired through contractors by Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State be forfeited. These include his houses in Afao, Ado-Ekiti and about seven houses in Ibadan. Fayose’s mother’s car bought with the poultry project money, the court also ordered, should be immediately impounded. The only house left for him is another one in Ibadan, acquired in his name. The case on that has been transferred to the Code of Conduct Bureau.
Meanwhile, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has discovered billions of naira allegedly looted by Fayose, from the state’s treasury through phoney road contracts. The commission has discovered fund release warrants with which funds were taken out by contractors for contracts not executed.
Many of these warrants were signed by E. O. Abegunde and Wole Adewunmi both claiming to be acting for the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance. Many of the contracts which have to do with road projects are paid for twice or thrice. A locked up stalls built at Ajilosun in Ado Ekiti, for example, cost the state N117,000,000 and the money paid out under different headings in four warrants.
According to the release warrants available to EFCC, N50 million was paid out to the permanent secretary, Ministry of Finance, for the “External works at Ajilosun Shopping Complex” on 17th August 2004. On 13th April, 2004 the permanent secretary again collected N22 million for which it called “2nd Phase Ajilosun Lock-Up shops”.
Another N25,000,000 was also withdrawn on 28th November 2004 for the same project under the title “Completion of Ajilosun Shopping Complex”. On 10 August, 2004 another N20 million was taken out of the treasury for “Ajilosun Market Complex.” On 27 May 2004 another N20 million was also diverted using the “Ajilosun market.” The construction of Ado Ekiti Afao Road cost the Ekiti people N303,577,100. The road is less than 10 kilometres.
The rehabilitation of Oluyemi Kayode Stadium cost the state N119,793,059. Through the contract, the contractor, Mr. Akpabio, has been found by EFCC to have built a house worth N50 million for the governor at Alapere, in Ketu, Lagos. The house was demolished early this year by the Lagos State Government for blocking a drain path.
Perhaps more scandalous is the N339 million taken out of the treasury for the construction of “Inner Ring Road at Ado Ekiti. This, according to EFCC officials, is different from the N2 billion already spent on the dualisation of the major road in the town being executed for the Federal Government by Governor Fayose. The township road being dualised is less than 15 kilometres and not yet completed.
While of N339m has been paid out, investigators said they could not see what the money was spent on. All of these contracts, according to our sources, (see box) were not bided for, and also not advertised but awarded to the governor’s cronies whom he brought in from Ibadan.
Some of the commissioners interrogated by the EFCC said they were not part of the contract awarding process. “It is a one man show, we have not had an executive meeting in the last eighteen months,” one of the commissioners volunteered to the EFCC.
Meanwhile, six officials of the state’s audit department have been suspended by the governor. They were accused of leaking documents to the ICPC and EFCC. The Commissioner for Works, Mr. Kayode Oso, who was Fayose’s former Chief of Staff, P.M.News learnt this morning, has fled to London. Oso used to reside in London before he was brought in to be Chief of Staff.
Officials of EFCC who spoke to P.M.News said they have contacted the London Metropolitan Police to help fish him out to come and account for the money he collected from the state’s treasury.
Oso also allegedly shared from the N1.5 billion poultry money. Contractor to the project has admitted buying 24 split air-conditioners for him from the money. EFCC officials are working on the theory that Oso fled through the land borders.
(a) One mansion belonging to Governor Ayodele Fayose, located at No. 23, Ring Road Restaurant Road behind Total petrol station next to Kobiowu Crescent, Iyaganku, GRA, Ibadan, Oyo State.
(b) Landed property at Adebunmi Village, Ayegun Road, Odo-Ona Elewe, Ibadan, Oyo State belonging to Mr. Gbenga James.
(c) A plot of land at Oluyole Estate, Ibadan, Oyo State belonging to Mr. Gbenga James.
(d) Land purchased from Philips Oluwole Kumole by Mr. Gbenga James for his wife, Funmi James.
(e) Property at Oluyole Estate belonging to Mr. Gbenga James and built by GRID Associates for Mr. James’ mother.
(f) Property belonging to Mr. Gbenga James purchased from Chief Francis Aiyegbeni of D’Rovans Hotel, located at Kobiowu Crescent, Iyaganku, GRA, Ibadan, Oyo State.
(g) Twin duplex belonging to Mr. Gbenga James purchased from Laide Adejuoye located at Oluyole Estate, Ibadan.
(h) Property located at Iyaganku, Ibadan purchased by Mr. Gbenga James from Mr. Adeniyi Adele.
(i) Seven (7) cars purchased in the United States of America in January 2005 by Mr. Gbenga James.
(j) Three (3) cars purchased by Mr. Gbenga James in 2005 from Mr. Jude Egunjobi.
(k) One Mercedes Benz car bought in 2003 for Governor Ayo Fayose’s mother by Mr. James.