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EFCC, police invade Fasawe’s homes

Posted by By Femi Makinde on 2006/10/29 | Views: 2568 |

EFCC, police invade Fasawe’s homes


A combined team of the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, mobile policemen and men of the State Security Service, on Friday, stormed Owo, Lagos and Abuja homes of Otunba Oyewole Fasawe in order to arrest him.

A combined team of the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, mobile policemen and men of the State Security Service, on Friday, stormed Owo, Lagos and Abuja homes of Otunba Oyewole Fasawe in order to arrest him.

Fasawe is believed to be wanted in connection with the ongoing investigation of the Petroleum Technology Development Trust Fund.

Vice President Atiku Abubakar was the Chairman of the fund before President Olusegun Obasanjo ordered the dissolution of the board.

Our correspondent learnt that the security agents came in a white Toyota bus to the tycoon’s residence in Owo, Ondo State.

Having waited in futile for the gate to be open to them at the Owo residence, an eyewitness, who pleaded anonymity, told Sunday Punch that the security operatives went to a police station for a reinforcement of armed men and thereafter pulled down the massive gate out of annoyance, to gain entrance to the expansive mansion.

The security men reportedly searched every where in the building without finding their target.

The search operation lasted over an hour.

An aide to Fasawe, whom the EFCC operatives met in the residence, said when the operatives could not find the businessman after the frantic search, one of them said, "He can only run, but he cannot hide; we will soon catch him."

Another source claimed that the attempted arrest was in violation of an order from a Lagos High Court barring the EFCC from arresting Fasawe pending the determination of the suit filed before it.

He said, "They came and introduced themselves as men of the EFCC and requested to see Fasawe who was not available as at the time of the invasion.

"The men did not believe that Otunba Fasawe was not at home as they searched all the flats in the compound and his personal flat."

When the operatives could not find him; they went and brought a detachment of mobile policemen from Akure, the state capital, who helped them to force their way into all the buildings in the compound."

He stated that the EFCC operatives were poised to forcefully arrest Fasawe, adding that they had been laying ambush for him in Lagos and Abuja for sometime.

He alleged that the only offence Fasawe committed was his refusal to implicate Vice President Atiku Abubarkar in the face-off between him and Obasanjo.

The counsel to Fasawe, Prince Olu Mafo, also made a similar claim and said that there was an order of Justice Inumidun Akande of the Lagos High Court asking the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Sunday Ehindero; the Chairman of EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu; the Attorney General of the Federation and the State Security Service from arresting his client pending the determination of the case.

"The EFCC and later the police have been investigating alleged criminal offences in the past six months against the applicant but have not found a single substantiated offence to enable them charge him to court.

"The routine arrest is patently unconstitutional and a violation of his entrenched constitutional as well as his fundamental rights to freedom, personal liberty.

"Let all concerned return to the rule of law by obeying the court order which stayed all actions and matters connected with and arising from the applicant’s complaint to court in suit M/490/2006," Mafo said.

Our correspondent who made efforts to get comment of the EFCC on the operation of its men at the homes of Fasawe did not succeed as all phone calls made to the spokesman of the commission, Mr. Osita Nwajah, were not picked.

Fasawe was a mutual friend of both Obasanjo and Atiku until lately.

Two of his companies: Mofas Shipping Company and NDTV were at the centre of controversy over the management of PTDF.

Atiku was indicted by EFCC report on the fund for allegedly assisting his friends, including Fasawe to draw from the fund without due process.

The VP was accused of promoting NDTV with $30 million from MOFAS accounts in one of the commercial banks in the country.

Besides, there were allegations that the MOFAS account was used as a joint presidential campaign accounts for both the president and his deputy during the 2003 election

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