Ekiti state governor, Ayodele Fayose yesterday said he would only make himself available for questioning by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on October 16, a day after he is expected to leave office.
In a reply to the commission’s request to appear before it on Thursday, September 20th, 2018, the governor cited the danger of violating Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which vested immunity on him as a sitting governor.
Fayose who chairs the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Governors’ Forum said he was moved to write the anti-graft agency after reading in the press of its directive to the Nigeria Customs Service to arrest him on fears that he might elope before the expiration of his tenure to prevent his prosecution.
In a letter addressed to acting EFCC chairman, and made available to journalists in Abuja, Fayose chided the commission for what he termed its “Unprovoked personal hatred and malice against my person.”
The letter read: “I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 13th September, 2018 requesting me to appear on the 20th September, a day preceding the expiration of my tenure.
“As a responsible citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who currently enjoys immunity under Section 308 of the Constitution, it would amount to a breach of the Constitution which I swore to uphold if I appear in your office on any date earlier than 16th October, 2018.
If done otherwise, it will set a wrong precedent for the constitutional institution that I represent. “While drafting my response to yours of 14th September, 2018, my attention was drawn to your widely publicized letter of 12th September, 2018 to the Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service and similar agencies, directing them to watch-list and arrest me on an imagination that I might leave Nigeria to escape investigation.
This development, to say the least, is disappointing and betrays your commission’s unprovoked personal hatred and malice against my person.”
The governor said in consideration of events in the past few months, the EFCC has “Presumed my guilt even prior to the commencement of investigation.
This raises serious question about the impartiality, independence or neutrality of the commission in the matter,” adding that he felt “Harassed, intimidated and embarrassed by the imputation of crime and the innuendos of criminality underlining your correspondence which has been maliciously circulated widely.”
However, should the commission insists on September 20th, Governor Fayose expressed his readiness to meet with its operatives provided they are willing to play guests to him at Government House, Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti state capital same day.