Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has insisted that he will not appear before the EFCC on any date other than October 16.
The outgoing governor whose tenure expires on October 15 had earlier written to the commission that he would be available to answer questions from the operatives of the commission on the said date.
However, the commission in its reply told the governor to make himself available on Thursday, September 20, 2018.
But Fayose, in his reply on Tuesday, cited the danger of violating Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which vested immunity on him as a sitting governor.
Fayose said he was moved to write the commission after reading in the media of its directive to the Nigeria Customs Service and immigration to arrest him on fears that he could run away from the country before the expiration of his tenure.
In the letter addressed to acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, a copy of which was made available to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, Fayose chided the commission for what he called the “unprovoked personal hatred and malice against my person”.
The letter read in part:
“I acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated 13th September 2018 requesting me to appear on the 20th September.
“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 appeared 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 publicised letter of 12th September 2018 to the Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service, and similar agencies, directing them to watch 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 had “Presumed my guilt even prior to the commencement of an investigation.”
“This raises a 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.”
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