Campaign funds: Fani-kayode wants EFCC to probe Amechi, Fashola

By The Rainbow

Former Minister of Aviation Fani-Kayode, has described the current investigation of the N840m he received as the director of publicity of the former President Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation as a witch-hunt.

The loquacious ex-minister challenged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to extend their investigations to  former governors Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State and his Rivers State counterpart, Rotimi Amaechi, whom he alleged to have funded President Muhammadu Buhari's campaign.

Fani-Kayode made this point in an article titled, 'The Money Transfers and the Truth about the Presidential Campaign Funds', which he wrote in reaction to allegations levelled against him by the EFCC.

While acknowledging that he received N840m as the director of publicity for the former president during the electioneering last year, he said that  he did not know that the funds emanated from the account of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

But for him, the current administration of President Goodluck Jonathan has been insincere by investigating the campaign funds of the former ruling party Peoples Democratic Party while turning blind eyes to the those who funded his own presidential campaign.

According to him, “Instead of using the EFCC to try to rubbish me and my colleagues and smear our good names, those that are in power today should tell us where they got their campaign funds from and how much of it came from the governments of Lagos and Rivers states.”

“The two people that headed those two state governments then are now both federal ministers today. One of them, who was the Director-General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, was specifically indicted by a judicial commission of inquiry for using millions of dollars of state government funds to run the Buhari campaign, yet nothing happened and his reward was to be appointed as a minister,” he said.

Fani-Kayode said that  Amaechi transported N5bn to prosecute  March 19, 2015 rerun election in the state, but the EFCC had done nothing about it.

He said, “Again what about the N5bn cash that was flown down to Port Harcourt in Rivers State from Abuja in chartered plane a couple of days before the rerun election that took place on March 19, 2016? Where did they get that amount of cash from and what was its purpose and source?

“What has the EFCC said or leaked about that? It appears that there is one law for those that are in power today and another for those that are not. Why persecute the innocent and leave the guilty? Was it a crime to fight and lose an election?”

The former minister said Buhari spent 10 times more than Jonathan during the last election. He said Buhari as the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, hired the same campaign managers that headed United States President's campaign.

Fani-Kayode alleged that the campaign managers were paid $10m.

He also claimed that the Jonathan campaign team was underfunded as it was not even given vehicles with which to move around during the electioneering.

He added, “I might add that we spent far less money than the APC and the Buhari Presidential Campaign Organisation because they had access to massive amounts of state government funds and they used those funds effectively. For every million naira we spent, they spent 10.

“They even contracted the services of a famous American media consultant (the same one that President Obama used in 2008) and paid him $10m for his counsel and advice. They had fleets of cars and buses whilst my directorate was not even given one vehicle to get our people around.

“The official jeep that was meant to have been given to us for our operations during the campaign was highjacked and it never arrived.

“We were forced to use our own personal vehicles and we were glad to do so. Yet the other side had everything that money could buy. They even chartered numerous private jets throughout the campaign to get around the country. Where did they get all their funding from? Why is the EFCC not leaking stories or talking about that?”