The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday arraigned the immediate-past Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, for an alleged fraud of N2.2bn.
Fayose was arraigned before the Federal High Court in Lagos six days after he completed his tenure as governor.He was taken to court from the custody of the EFCC where he had been detained for questioning after he voluntarily submitted himself on Tuesday, October 16Dressed in blue jean trousers and a shirt of purple, blue, white and grey colours, Fayose was brought to the court premises in a white EFCC bus, accompanied by security operatives.
He was immediately taken into the courtroom presided over by Justice Mojisola Olatoregun.
As he settled in a seat, Fayose smiled at journalists taking his snapshots with their mobile phones, asking, “Have you taken enough?”
On hand to give Fayose encouragement was a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, who is himself being prosecuted by the EFCC for an alleged fraud of N4.9bn.
“I am here to let people know that he (Fayose) is not alone. I know what he’s going through because I’ve been there,” Fani-Kayode told journalists on the court premises.
Soon after entering the courtroom, Fayose was called up into the dock, where he took his plea on the 11 counts filed against him and his company, Spotless Limited.He pleaded not guilty on behalf of himself and his firm, Spotless Limited, to the 11 charges bordering on criminal breach of trust, theft and money laundering.
In the charges, the EFCC alleged that on June 17, 2014, Fayose “took possession of the sum of N1, 219, 000,000 to fund your 2014 gubernatorial campaign in Ekiti State, which you reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: criminal breach of trust/stealing.”
He was also alleged to have on the same day “received a cash payment of $5,000,000 from Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, the then Minister of State for Defence, which sum exceeded the amount authorised by law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Sections 1 and 16(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act.”