By Uduma Kalu & Oscarline Onwuemenyi
They are strong indications that many former governors are on the run following intelligence reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, will pick more of them in the coming days.
This came as EFCC declared former governor of Gombe state, Alhaji Danjuma Goje, wanted over allegations of mismanagement and diversion of over N52 billion state funds.
Saturday Vanguard had learnt that some of the former governors who had earlier besieged Abuja for various reasons have hurriedly left the city.
It was learnt that some of the governors were there in solidarity with their arrested colleagues but left town yesterday immediately they leanrt that the EFCC will arrest six more ex-governors who vacated office on May 29.
The EFCC source had said that, “In the next two or three weeks, I can tell you that at least six more ex-governors, who vacated office in May, will be invited for questioning.”
EFCC, Thursday, arrested former governors Gbenga Daniel of Ogun state, Alao Akala of Oyo state and Akwe Doma of Nasarawa state. They are being detained over alleged financial recklessness and misappropriation while in office. Sources say while former governors Akala and Daniel are being held at the Lagos office of the anti-graft agency, Doma is being detained in the Abuja office. A visit to the Ikoyi, Lagos office of the agency yesterday morning indicated heavy security presence. The three governors are alleged to have stolen over N101 billion. Alao-Akala is to answer questions for misappropriations of N25bn.
On Goje, the commission in a statement yesterday signed by its Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Babafemi, explained that it came to the decision of publicly declaring the accused person wanted after an endless search for him and his failure to submit himself for interrogation over the alleged fraud even when he was in receipt of a letter of invitation giving him up to 12noon today to come out of his hiding.
According to the statement, “Patriotic Nigerians who may have useful information on the whereabouts of the wanted person are urged to kindly send same to any of the EFCC’s offices across the country or the nearest police station.”
Goje, who ruled his state for eight years is presently a Senator of the Federal Republic representing his state.
The Commission further said that while it will continue its search for the accused person, it will always work within the ambit of the law in the discharge of its responsibility and expects all citizens especially those being investigated to respect and obey the laws of the land.
The runaway former governor has abandoned home since EFCC operatives laid ambush for him in his Gombe and Abuja homes.
Meanwhile, the EFCC has refuted rumours that former governors Gbenga Daniels, Christopher Alao-Akala andd Alli Akwe Doma have been released on bail upon self-recognition.
Babafemi told our correspondent in Abuja that all three former governors are still undergoing interrogation and would remain in custody while investigations into their tenureship continues.
From all indications, the former state chief executives would be spending the weekend as guests of the Commission while they are grilled over allegations of misapproapriating several billions of naira while they held sway in their various states.
While Daniel was picked over a N58 billion fraud investigation, Alao-Akala is to answer charges for stealing over N25 billion while Doma’s record of pilfering stands at N18 billion. The trio were said to have been picked in their homes in Lagos, Ibadan and Lafia respectively on Thursday.
Sources at the Commission have hinted that more former governors are likely to face arrest any moment from now as the EFCC boss, Farida Waziri was said to have given the final order for their arrest yesterday.
Mrs. Waziri has made it clear that she would investigate several of the former state executive officers, and bring to book as many as are found culpable for looting or mismanaging state resources.