EFCC re-arraigns Ayo Fayose over N416mn fraud

Ayo Fayose

Ayo Fayose was recently re-admitted to the PDP

The Economic and Financial crimes Commission, EFCC, Thursday, re-arraigned a former governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, over misappropriation of state funds totaling N416 million.

Mr. Fayose was docked on a 27-count amended charge before Adamu Hobon, Judge of the Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges which border on conversion of public funds for personal use and abuse of office while he held sway as governor of Ekiti State.

Mr. Fayose’s re-arraignment was sequel to the transfer of Justice Emmanuel Obile who had been the trial judge.

The EFCC’s counsel, Adebisi Adeniyi, told the court that the accused was on bail and that he was not going to challenge that.

The counsel to Mr. Fayose, Owoseni Ajayi, had sought to stall the re-arraignment by opposing the appearance of Mr. Adeniyi as EFCC counsel on the grounds that the fiat to prosecute the case was given to Rotimi Jacobs and not Mr. Adeniyi.

He also told the court that the fiat was not transferable and so the prosecution had no counsel in court.

However Mr. Adeniyi told the court to dismiss the submission of Mr. Ajayi on the grounds that the case was an EFCC case and that EFCC was statutorily empowered to prosecute its cases.

“This is a case that was initiated by the EFCC. I do not need to come to court to show my letter of authorization” Mr. Adeniyi told the court.

Justice Hobon ruled that the defence counsel’s objection lacked merit and that Mr. Adeniyi could hold brief for the EFCC.

Mr. Fayose was first arraigned in 2007 at the Federal High Court Lagos for allegedly misappropriating huge amounts of Ekiti State funds when he held sway as governor. He later challenged the jurisdiction of the court on the grounds that the alleged offence was not committed in Lagos, but Ekiti State.

The matter was then re-assigned to the Federal High Court, Ado-Ekiti division.

The former governor was recently re-admitted to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, after leaving the party following a face-off with former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Mr. Hobon adjourned proceedings to January 24, 2013.

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