Fayose, KOPEK In Campaign Funds Tangle
It is necessary to expose the mind-boggling cases of fraud associated with elections in Nigeria and the role of corporate institutions. One case in point is in Ekiti, a mainly agrarian state whose mainstay is the civil service. What is going on under the Peoples’ Democratic Party, (PDP) led by Mr Ayodele Fayose is horrendous. Only a change of baton can expose this mind-boggling stench.
After a sizzling business romance that fetched them fortunes, the country and Ekiti peopke need to be aware that Governor Ayodele Fayose and his friends in KOPEK Construction Company based in Ibadan are looking at each other’s face over fate that awaits Fayose in the funds illegally kept in the accounts of the construction company for safe-keeping for Prof Olusola Eleka’s campaign expenses.
It was learnt that all proceeds of frauds by Fayose were kept in the accounts of his friends in KOPEK having learnt his lessons in his first term when his trusted friends who assisted him to keep the proceeds of crimes in poultry project and other contracts duped him to the marrow.
It was learnt that before Fayose won his election in 2014, he had carefully sought understanding with friends with established businesses that would help him keep his proceeds of crimes. He picked KOPEK.
To ensure the security of his money after leaving government and ensure a relationship that would go beyond life in government, Fayose approached his friends in KOPEK to fund his election, declaring that only the financiers of his election would be patronised in contracts execution.
KOPEK spent fortunes to sponsor Fayose’s election, even though he had other sources, such as the Federal Government through the Office of the National Security Adviser, to sponsor that election.
Sources at KOPEK said Fayose assured the company’s chiefs that President Goodluck Jonathan had assured him that everything would be done to win the election and that he was going into government to make money and so whoever would participate in financing the election should be sure of adequate patronage. KOPEK agreed to fund the election.
But after winning the election with KOPEK parting with hundreds of millions of naira in campaign expenses, Fayose went back to the negotiation table again to set new rules and conditions under which he would patronise KOPEK.
According to the company’s sources, every one was shocked when Fayose declared that KOPEK would only act as a front for him in contracts award instead of sole government’s contractors. According to the plan, Fayose would get all construction contracts for KOPEK, which will execute the projects on his behalf and then share the profits 60/40 percent in Fayose’s favour.
According the sources, KOPEK officials were shocked at the twist in the election sponsorship agreement. But later, sensing that they might lose out completely in the deal, KOPEK agreed to Fayose’s new terms.
The company is handling virtually all construction jobs in Ekiti State and it is the front for Fayose in all other illegal deals to make money.
The deals from which Fayose made money and kept the proceeds of crimes in KOPEK’s accounts include Ikere road contract, Bank Road construction, flyover contract in Ado-Ekiti. Bank Road and Ikere road projects were financed mainly from the cash that Fayose collected from private companies, such as banks.
Other sources of illegal funds include proceeds from IGR, local governments extortions, over-invoicing in government departments and agencies’ projects, among others.
For example, Fayose coerced Wema Bank to pay its Corporate Social Responsibility contribution of N400m for Ikere road to KOPEK’s accounts. The companies that refused to cooperate were shut down, for example, GTB, Ecobank and Cocacola, among others, that refused to surrender their money to the governor.
Without public bidding at Tenders Board, Fayose awarded the 800m flyover contract to KOPEK at the initial cost of N5.9b. Later, Fayose reviewed the cost two times to its present N16b price tag.
Later, Fayose again became sceptical about KOPEK, suspicious that his friends might short-change him. He decided to involve his close friends to help keep the money, though some rejected the offer, citing the possibility of EFCC discovering that proceeds of crimes from Fayose are traced to their accounts.
Not that alone, he also insisted that some of the money be lodged in his personal bank accounts from various sources, such as the two tranches of bailout, Ecological Fund, CBN loan on SMEs, refunds on federal roads, corporate social responsibility cash from private companies and various suffocating taxes that Fayose kept in accounts that are unknown to government’s financial system.
Security sources confirmed to us that a multiple tracking of Fayose’s assets was conducted by security and anti-crime agencies that came with damning revelations of a massive looting of Ekiti State.
By May 2016, Fayose himself got a hint of the security agencies’ findings, which propelled him to address a press conference in Abuja on June 19, 2016 where he sought to blackmail the security agencies for doing their job.
But consequently, Fayose’s account with Zenith Banki was frozen by the EFCC. Sensing danger, Fayose hurried to the bank with his full entourage only to be told he could not withdraw a dime from his account as it had been frozen.
Fayose immediately addressed the press at the bank premises calling President Muhammad Buhari unprintable names and shouting that the EFCC acted illegally by freezing his account as a sitting governor who enjoyed immunity.
It was gathered that about N4billion was found in Fayose’s personal account while that of his son, Rogba Fayose, contained about N200 million; all frozen.
It was also gathered that Fayose kept his loot in the accounts of cronies after putting them on oath.
For instance, Fayose kept N500m in the account of one Jumoke, a waiter at his Spotless Hotel, Ado-Ekiti. He kept N2billion in the account of his friend called Abiodun Agbele while his former Commissioner for Finance, Kayode Oso went away with Fayose’s N500m when both deceived Ekiti people that the commissioner resigned over health challenges.
Besides, a multi-billion naira hotel was traced to Fayose in Dubai by the EFCC.
After EFCC’s operations on his accounts, Fayose decided to hurriedly move his money from his accounts and keep it in his wife and friends’ accounts, including KOPEK.
According to documents made available to us, Fayose one day moved N137m from his Account No 10003126654 on teller 0556814 with BVN number 22338867502
Another N50m was second day moved to the same account. The fourth day, he moved N118,760,000 to the same account.
Fayose moved N300m from his Fixed Deposit account number 9013074033 at Ketu Zenith Bank with same BVN number and N100m was deposited in Spotless Hotel account number 1010170969 jointly owned by Fayose and his wife. Fayose’s BVN on the account is 223338867502, while that of his wife is 22298990256.
Abiodun Agbele, Fayose’s friend, collected N219,490,000 from account number 1013835889 and the same Abiodun collected N300m and another N200m in the same account with BVN number 22235692890.
Fayose kept N500m in one Jumoke’s account. Jumoke is a waiter in Spotless Hotel and kept another N2billion in Abiodun Eleka’s account.
Other sources of Fayose’s ill-gotten money he keeps with cronies include New Market he awarded at N3b even though the actual cost is N2b. He demanded to have the difference of N1b from his contractor friend, failure of which led to the arrest and incarceration of the contractor, Kayode Olusola Jegede, over suspicion of sharp practices. Fayose slammed Jegede and his site workers in jail over alleged theft of building materials to force Jegede to pay him N1b kick-back from the over-priced market project.
Fayose also made money from illegal sale of government’s vehicles to his friends at give-away prices, only for the vehicles to appear in his car showroom called ‘Affordable Motors’ in Ibadan for resale to the public.
Since Deputy Governor started his campaign, Fayose has been defrauding him and government in the name of campaign. For instance, sources close to Fayose said that the luxury buses bought by Fayemi for civil servants for intra-city purposes were repainted for Fayose’s presidential and deputy’s governorship campaign, all quoted as fresh purchases.
For instance, two 18-seater buses marked A06EK861 and A06EK862 bought by Fayemi’s administration for the Ministry of Health for its intervention programmes were taken to Afao-Ekiti home of the governor at night and repainted into Kolapo Olusola Eleka Campaign Organisation. Fayose fraudulently passed the cost of the purported purchase of the vehicles to Eleka as vehicles bought with his security vote. He deducted Eleka’s security vote and kept the proceeds in the accounts of his friends.
The same way he kept the proceeds of crime in PDP national convention in Abuja where he duped each of the 93 PDP delegates of N3.65m, just after he duped each of the 16 local government of N30m totalling N480m through non-existent contracts purportedly awarded to his loyalists consisting of local government chairmen and a few others in each of the 16 local governments. Each fake contractor was criminally paid N6m. After each of the five fake contractors collected the pay, they pooled the money together, making N30m from each local government and deposited the total (N480m) to the governor, who later sent all these stolen moneys totalling N19b to KOPEK for safe-keeping.
Now after the quarterly audit of the company, KOPEK had discovered that it had run a great risk working for Fayose as a sub-contractor.
According to KOPEK sources, the company risks closing down its operations in Ekiti State if Fayose does not consider forfeiting a large chunk of the money he keeps with the company.
The sources said Fayose is not ready for such consideration for now, as he fumed and fumed, threatening that he will ruthlessly deal with KOPEK officials if they attempt to sabotage Eleka’s election campaign to succeed him.
KOPEK is also set to defend itself to avoid unpleasant consequences, including saving the life of the company and its corporate image.
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