The Police have concluded arrangements to prosecute no fewer than nine members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly for certificate forgery. According to a source,various security agencies have conducted investigation on several petitions against 17 members of the House of Assembly for forgery of their school certificates and other related crimes. The source told one of our correspondents that the Department of State Services (DSS) has established a prima facie case against nine of the lawmakers.
They would soon appear in court, the source added. “After a thorough investigation on the school certificates submitted by 17 members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, we discovered that nine of the lawmakers submitted forged school certificates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Forgery is a criminal offence.
“We have submitted our report to INEC and the police. I think the police are awaiting the recommendation of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to press criminal charges against the lawmakers. They will soon face prosecution,” the source said.
Another source confirmed to New Telegraph that INEC is already in possession of the report conducted on the forgery of the school certificates submitted for clearance by the lawmakers. Although the Peoples Democratic Party-dominated Ekiti Assembly had cried foul over the forgery case, pointing out that its members were being unnecessarily persecuted. The source said that the police are determined to go ahead with the prosecution in spite of the propaganda.
It was also gathered that some of the affected lawmakers have made efforts at replacing the controversial certificates, but met a brick wall in the unyielding INEC officials. It was further learnt that aside petitions written by opposition parties on the certificate forgery, some disgruntled PDP members, who were allegedly shortchanged in the party’s primaries, also wrote petitions against the lawmakers. The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) yesterday called on the affected lawmakers to submit themselves for prosecution.
CNPP, in a statement signed by the Ekiti State chairman, Mr. Tunji Ogunlola, said that the indicted lawmakers must pay for their sins. “On the issue of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, we ask the 17 members alleged to have falsified their certificates to submit themselves for prosecution. It is very unfortunate that their primary roles have been abandoned for Governor Ayodele Fayose’s defence,” Ogunsola said. Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the CNPP yesterday protested against the Fayose administration.
The protesters demanded the resignation of the governor over the N4.7 billion arms funds. Joined by other groups, the protesters massed upon the roads from Fajuyi Park in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, and walked the major streets, passing through Okesa, Ojumose, Okeyinmi down to Ijigbo junction where the leaders took turns to address the crowd. They also expressed confidence in the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, describing his anti-corruption war as the best for the country.
The protesters urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to prosecute whoever was fingered in the looting of the state’s treasury.
The group equally commended EFCC for freezing the two personal accounts of Governor Fayose in Zenith Bank Plc. through which he allegedly received N1.3 billion to prosecute the 2014 election. Fayose had challenged the legality of the EFCC’s move at the Federal High Court, Ado-Ekiti while the latter had ordered the agency to justify the freezing of the accounts.
On hand to forestall unsavoury possibilities were security operatives, including men of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
The APC Acting Chairman in the state, Mrs. Kemi Olaleye, expressed reservations about the appropriateness of immunity for Fayose, saying such was a cog in the wheel of prosecuting the governor for alleged mismanagement. Her words: “We are tired of immunity clause. Immunity has become impunity in Ekiti. We condemn Governor Fayose’s corrupt tendencies. Things must change.
The EFCC must do its job and ensure that looters of Ekiti are brought to justice.” CNPP, in a statement signed by its state chairman, Ogunlola, challenged Fayose to discard his immunity and dare the antigraft agency on his alleged involvement in N4.7 billion arms deal. The statement read in part: “We also plead with the Federal Government not to release bailout for payment of salary to Governor Fayose. The Federal Ministry of Finance should pay into workers’ accounts directly, because we have lost confidence in the government.
The previous N9.6 billion bailout should be probed. “We pass confidence vote in President Buhari for fighting corruption and for all his developmental programmes,” he said. But, Fayose’s Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Mr. Idowu Adelusi, urged the APC to wait till 2018 for the governor to complete his tenure. His words: “They should know that this is 2016 and not 2006.
Their agenda is about 2018 and their game plans are what we are now seeing using the EFCC to concoct lies and using the media to disparage Governor Fayose, but they can’t go far.
“For now, the APC and the mad dogs of President Muhammadu Buhari should not be too desperate for Fayose to defend himself against the myriad of allegations, but rather wait till 2018 for the governor to submit himself to EFCC as he did in 2007.”
The governor’s spokesman accused the APC-led administration of double standard. Adelusi said: “Till now, even the political EFCC has not alleged Fayose of stealing Ekiti money and if it is concocting one, we shall meet in the court at the appropriate time.
“It is only in Nigeria under APC-led government that Chief Jide Awe, an accused having murder case hanging on his neck, will be the person who coordinated the 102 petitions written against one person.
“The petition itself is laughable and it shows that the writers have no common sense. Jide Awe and other APC members murdered 12 people during the Fayemi administration and, notwithstanding warrant of arrest issued on these suspects by the court, the police have refused to arrest them because of order from above. “On the infamous 102 petitions, no professional policeman, except political policemen, would give such petitions a second look.
It is very shameful that these protesters have not asked their boss, Kayode Fayemi to account for the SUBEB’s N852 million funds he misappropriated or tell Ekiti people why within four years landed the state in valley of debts and what he did with the huge loans he took from the capital market and commercial banks.
“As far as we know, no amount of harassment or intimidation or character assassination will make members of Ekiti State House of Assembly to succumb to pressures to go against the governor. The legislators know that their governor has not done any wrong thing.”