After eight years of slow prosecution of 10 former governors who left office since 2007, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has expressed its determination to reopen their trials, which is at different stages of prosecution.
The suspected ex-governors include Lucky Igbinedion (Edo), Chimaroke Nnamani (Enugu), Orji Uzor Kalu (Abia), Saminu Turaki (Jigawa), Joshua Dariye (Plateau), and Prince Abubakar Audu (Kogi).
Others are Danjuma Goje (Gombe), Aliyu Akwe Doma (Nasarawa), Jolly Nyame (Taraba) and Ali Modu Sheriff (Borno).
Some of these governors are currently serving senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The EFCC however did not mention anything about ex-governor of Adamawa State, Boni Haruna and his Bayelsa counterpart, Timipre Sylva.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja yesterday, EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said the ten suspected ex-governors will be made to account for their actions when they reigned as chief executives of their various states.
Uwujaren also revealed that the anti-graft agency has already recovered the sum of N65billion so far from the ex-governors.
On corruption charges against the Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, EFCC spokesman said his case has been temporarily suspended, following his election as the governor and in line with the Immunity Clause in the Constitution of Nigeria, he cannot be tried while in office.
He said apart from seizing the assets of most of the suspects, it has also frozen the accounts of companies linked to the former governors, adding that ex-governor Ali Modu Sheriff has been cautioned by the law enforcement agency.
Uwujaren hinted that Sheriff might be declared wanted if he fails to honour its invitation to answer some questions bordering on a petition against him.
“We invited him (Sheriff) for questioning. As I speak to you, he did not honour that invitation.
Once the commission invites a suspect in a matter and he fails to honour the invitation, options are opened to us. We might declare him wanted. Yes, we might do that.”
Sheriff is wanted for alleged mismanagement of N300billion his administration received from the Federation Account between 2003 and 2011.”
The commission added that the sum of $245 million, £693,000 and €62,000 has also been recovered from the corrupt individuals and organisations between 2012 and 2014.
He added: “The cases involving former Kogi State governor, Abubakar Audu; former Gombe State governor, Danjuma Goje; former Nasarawa State governor, Akwe Doma and former Taraba State governor, Rev. Jolly Nyame, are progressing in courts, as several witnesses have been called by the prosecution.
“Of course, the case against Ayodele Fayose has only been temporarily halted by the fact of his re-election as Ekiti State Governor.
“We could go on and on. These records apply to cases involving ex-governors only. They do not tell the whole story regarding the prosecution and convictions record of the Commission.”
Uwujaren said the EFCC has not abandoned cases involving some former governors, including Orji Uzor Kalu, Saminu Turaki, Lucky Igbinedion, and former governor of Enugu State, Chimaroke Nnamani.