Mr. Fayose is facing a 27 count charge of conversion of public funds amounting to about N400 million.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has said that the corruption trial against Ayo Fayose, the Governor-elect of Ekiti State, will continue despite his new status as governor-elect.
The EFCC’s Spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, told PREMIUM TIMES on Monday that immunity from prosecution under the Nigerian Constitution applies “only to sitting governors.”
Mr. Uwujaren’s statement comes after media reports claimed that the anti-graft agency had jettisoned Mr. Fayose’s trial following his victory at the polls last Saturday.
“There are some matters that are obvious and do not require any comment,” Mr. Uwujaren was quoted as saying when asked if the commission would discontinue Mr. Fayose’s criminal prosecution.
“A governor automatically assumes immunity against prosecution, upon election.”
But speaking to PREMIUM TIMES via telephone, Mr. Uwujaren said that the word ‘sitting’ (governor) was omitted from his comment.
“There is absolutely no such thing as suspension of trial in the case involving the governor-elect of Ekiti State. His trial is continuing before the Federal High Court, Ado-Ekiti,” the EFCC Spokesperson said.
“As a matter of fact, further hearing comes up on July 15, 2014,” he added.
Mr. Fayose is facing a 27-count charge of conversion of about N400 million public funds to private use. The case is before Justice Hobon Adamu.
“The prosecution has called more than two witnesses in the matter. The trial has really progressed,” Mr. Uwujaren added.
The EFCC accused Mr. Fayose of stealing the state funds during his initial stint as governor between 2003 and 2006.
Last December, a principal prosecution witness in the trial told the court that Mr. Fayose lied on his asset declaration.
The witness, Abubakar Aliyu Madaki, told the court that the former governor lied in his asset declaration when he claimed that he had only two buildings in Iyaganku area of Ibadan, Oyo State.