Daniel, accompanied by his wife Olufunke, Alao-Akala and Doma •Daniel: truth will prevail •Ex-Oyo governor: I was invited
Oct 7, 2011 – 3 Ex- governors – Adebayo Alao-Akala (Oyo), Gbenga Daniel (Ogun) and Aliyu Akwe Doma (Nasarawa) – were detained after being arrested yesterday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The anti-graft agency is questioning them at its Abuja head office on alleged mismanagement of about N100 billion.
Alao-Akala was arrested in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. Daniel was picked up in Lagos. Doma was seized in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital.
There was drama surrounding the arrest of Daniel. He allegedly avoided EFCC operatives at his Asoludero Court mansion in Sagamu, Ogun State, at midnight on Wednesday.
Aware that the EFCC operatives were bent on arresting him, Daniel reportedly telephoned the EFCC, through a proxy, saying he learnt that he was wanted by the agency and would like to report at the commission’s annex office in Ikoyi, Lagos.
The ex-Ogun State governor gave himself up at the EFCC’s Lagos office, where he was picked up.
Alao-Akala was arrested at his New Bodija Quarters home in Ibadan.
He was flown to Abuja aboard an Arik Air flight from Lagos. Daniel was taken aboard IRS Airline.
The ex-Ogun State Governor arrived at the EFCC office in Abuja, accompanied by his wife, Olufunke.
Oyo State government asked the EFCC to allow the law take its course, following the arrest of Alao-Akala.
In a statement, Festus Adedayo, Special Adviser to Governor Abiola Ajimobi, said: “Though the arrest is a vindication of our earlier allegation of the predatory clean-up of the state’s patrimony for four years by the Alao-Akala government, the present government does not want to gloat over the fate of the former governor. We only enjoin both the EFCC and the judiciary to allow justice to be done.”
Diran Odeyemi, Alao-Akala’s aide said the former governor was not arrested by the EFCC, but invited.
Odeyemi said: “This morning, Otunba Alao-Akala left from his Ibadan residence to Lagos to honour an invitation by the EFCC. He was later transferred to Abuja. He was not arrested and by this we are correcting the insinuation that he was arrested.
“He is aware of the statutory functions of the EFCC and hopefully prepared to answer any question put to him. As a retired police officer, he is aware of the consequences of any crime committed while in office.
“He governed with the fear of God, we are not anticipating any problem and we believe that he is in safe hands with the EFCC.”
Daniel’s media assistant Adegbenro Adebanjo, in a statement entitled: Daniel: I will be indicated, said:
“Today, agents of the EFCC visited the Sagamu home of Otunba Gbenga Daniel. When they got there, Otunba Daniel was at the pan-Yoruba Summit in Ikenne. On learning of their presence in Sagamu, Otunba Daniel left Ikenne to join them. He was taken away by the agents, ostensibly to continue investigation into the petitions it had received against the former governor.
“It is important to state that prior to their visit, Otunba Daniel had not been invited to answer any question. Also, nothing incriminating has been found or brought to his notice by officials of the EFCC prior to their visit to his house on Thursday. Indeed, when speculation became rife that he may be invited for questioning, a scheduled trip abroad by the former governor was put on hold in order for him to be available to answer the summons of the EFCC.
“As a law abiding citizen, Otunba Daniel expects the agency to follow the due process in the current situation.
“Otunba Daniel remains confident that he will be vindicated as the petitions written against him and which may have formed the basis of his invitation, by the EFCC are politically-motivated.
“We believe that at the end of the day, the truth will prevail.”
The three governors are wanted in connection with alleged fraud as follows: Daniel (N58b); Alao-Akala (N25b) and Doma (N18b).
A EFCC source, who spoke in confidence, said: “These ex-governors will be quizzed alongside some of their ex-commissioners and contractors.
“We have already prepared a list of ex-commissioners and contractors that will appear before our interrogation team.
“Although we have reports that some ex-commissioners and contractors in Oyo State have gone underground, we may declare them wanted, if necessary. There is a case of a big time contractor in Oyo who has been located in Britain.”
Responding to a question, the source added: “We are likely to detain the ex-governors, pending the conclusion of investigations.
“We will surely complete our investigations within a timeline in order to arraign them in court.”
EFCC spokesman Femi Babafemi said: “At the moment, I know we have three ex-governors – Alao-Akala, Daniel and Doma – with us for interaction over allegations of fraud while in office.
“They are being investigated for alleged diversion and misappropriation of N58.5billion (Alao-Akala); N25 billion (Daniel); and Doma (N18billion).
“I cannot say how soon they will be released because investigation has just started.”
It was learnt that their arrest was fuelled by petitions from their states.
Part of the N25billion allegedly mismanaged by Alao-Akala is the alleged deduction of N8.2billion from the Excess Crude Funds belonging to the 33 local government areas to finance 155-kilometre road projects.
Each of the 33 local government areas was forced to part with N250million for the special road projects.
About five-kilometre road is to be constructed in each of the 33 local government areas.
Alao-Akala is expected to make the following clarifications: why the said deduction was not backed by law; diversion of a part of the fund; inflation of road contracts in some councils; and non-execution of the projects in some local governments.
Prior to his arrest, a six-man panel raised by the EFCC chairman, Mrs. Farida Waziri, had isolated some allegations against Daniel.
Some of the allegations are as follows: “Diversion of about N12billion revenue in Ogun State Bureau of Lands and Survey.
“Non-remittance of N1billion deducted from Ogun State workers’ salaries.
“Fraudulent and illegal payment of N1bilion purportedly as counterpart funding for water projects.
“Illegal debt servicing to the tune of N5.2billion as against an appropriation of N350million for the same purpose in 2009.
“Payment of N300million electricity utility charges by the State Electricity Project Agency, despite direct deduction of same from various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
“Diversion of N500million agricultural loan granted by National Agricultural Credit Bank for Rural Development.
“Diversion to cronies and associates of N5billion in the name of salaries and allowances under the Contingency and Miscellaneous of the Office of the Governor.
“Questionable transfer and disposal of government-owned enterprises and investment portfolio of over N15billion by Gateway Holding without enabling law or House of Assembly approval.
“Illegal purchase of 20 refurbished graders to the tune of N950million for Local Government Areas and subsequent deductions from their allocations monthly.
“Illegal purchase of 20 Toyota Prado SUVs to the tune of N200million for local government areas and subsequent illegal deduction of same from their accounts and allocations.
“Fraudulent procurement of loans from various financial institutions (mostly banks) amounting to over N22billion without approval from the House of Assembly.”
Doma is alleged to have inflated contracts; duplicated contracts and mismanaged the Local Government Joint Account.(The Nation)