The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State has urged Governor Ayodele Fayose to declare his assets 10 months after its earlier call on the governor to follow his predecessor, Governor Kayode Fayemi, who publicly declared his assets to the applause of Ekiti people.
Mr Taiwo Olatunbosun, APC state Publicity Secretary, said in a statement that the call became imperative against the background of earlier calls for the governor to declare his assets, failure of which had fuelled speculations that state resources were being channeled towards private enterprises outside the state by the governor.
“The governor must seize the opportunity of declaring his assets to douse speculations of his alleged funneling of the state resources to his private enterprises abroad.
“It is curious that he has not abused President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo after they declared their assets. Fayose’s loud silence on the President in this case is curious because the governor has never seen anything good in whatever the President does,” Olatunbosun said.
Tasking the governor to act now to restore confidence in Ekiti people for accountable governance, he said open declaration of assets would shame the critics of the governor who always accused the governor of alleged funds diversion to private use.
“We are worried by the unconfirmed reports of primitive acquisitions by the governor who allegedly own properties in Ghana, Dubai, South Africa, Abuja, Ibadan, Banana Islands and Magodo in Lagos which were believed to have been acquired in the last nine months after he assumed office.
“Our party is aware that Fayose had no visible means of income prior to October 16, 2014 when he became governor and the properties he owned in Ibadan and Lagos are subjects of litigation by the EFCC, which is probing the governor for misappropriation and diversion of N1.3b poultry project cash to personal use in 2005,” Olatunbosun said.
He said the current allegations of funds diversion gained currency on the heels of Fayose’s frequent trips to Dubai and South Africa “whenever he receives Ekiti State’s allocations from Abuja”.
He added: “Fayose is alleged to be building a state-of-the-art hotel in Dubai after he became Ekiti governor and after he is also reported to have paid N722 million to himself as “arrears of his allowances” as governor during his first term on the strength of the Supreme Court judgment which nullified his impeachment.
“Curiously too, Fayose has kept mute on various sums of money he has received on behalf of the state government, such as the N22 billion refund for Federal roads, N2 billion ecological fund, N2 billion micro credit fund, which he has diverted, N2.1 billion bailout NLNG fund, N9.6 billion bailout cash, N8.5 billion windfall received in June and an average of N3 billion regular Federal allocations he has been receiving since October 2014 till date.”
The APC spokesman said Ekiti people would be interested in the governor’s public declaration of his assets, considering the experience the state had under him during his aborted first tenure when he was docked for misapproriating N1.3 billion over which the EFCC took him to court.
“It would be recalled that in his former declaration of assets in 2003, the governor allegedly swore an oath declaring two barren lands in a thick forest as two completed mansions in Ibadan, the properties the EFCC later confirmed as properties built with the alleged proceeds of the fraudulent poultry project four years after he became the governor,” he explained, stressing that failure to openly declare his assets was a possibility of history repeating itself after the former bitter experience.
The recent appointment by Fayose of a 72-year-old illiterate as a council boss and many others of his yes-men in other Council areas has fuelled our suspicion that he has successfully converted the resources of Local governments to his personal use without being accountable to anyone. It has thus become a matter of necessity for Fayose to declare his assets.