…Demands their unconditional release or charge to court
From: WOLE BALOGUN, Ado Ekiti
About two weeks after the arrest of two of its members by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Ekiti State Executive Council has demanded for an unconditional release of the duo by the anti-graft agency or have them charged to court.
Ekiti State commissioner for Finance, Toyin Ojo, and Accountant General, Mrs. Yemisi Owolabi, were arrested by EFCC operatives on the day Governor Ayodele Fayose was signifying his intention to seek the nomination of his party, the Peoples Democratic party (PDP) for the presidential seat, in Abuja.
The council told newsmen in Ado-Ekiti, on Monay, at a press briefing that the continued detention of Ojo and Owolabi, was a “classic abuse of power” and “a political witch-hunt by pseudo democrats in Abuja to diabolically incapacitate the state government.”
Commissioner for Information, Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Lanre Ogunsuyi, who addressed reporters, said the executive council after its fifth emergency meeting saw the arrest as”an aberration that once again portrays the Federal Government as incapable of understanding the best democratic ethos.”
Ogunsuyi claimed that the arrest of the two members of the executive was “in violation of a subsisting ruling of a court of competent jurisdiction restraining the supposed anti-graft body from inviting or arresting officials of the state.”
The Council therefore called on the EFCC to “respect the rule of law by abiding by the subsisting court ruling,” saying “the options available to EFCC was to either grant the arrested state officials administrative bail or charge them to court if they had breached the law.”
The state government alleged that it was ironic that the same EFCC had allegedly “ignored repeated earnest petitions of the state government to investigate and prosecute the accusation of wanton looting of the state” by the previous administration in the state “in spite of incontrovertible evidences”, saying it was “chasing shadows and hindering the efforts of the present administration at correcting the anomalies and making life more meaning ful for the people in the state.”
The Ekiti executive also condemned what he said was “the lopsided policies of the Federal Government which were skewed towards developing only All Progressives Congress (APC) states at the expense of other states of the federation perceived to be stronghold of opposition.”
It said this was “a result of political intolerance and ignorance of the part of the Federal Government.”