Investigation shows Ayade decamped to APC to stop EFCC probe of Calabar factory N2.7B fraud

Nigerian Concord Newspaper

Facts have emerged that Cross River State governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, decamped to the APC this morning to stop the EFCC’s investigation into the N2.7 billion rocking his administration.

Ayade who decamped to the ruling party today said his action was because of his intentions to help President Muhamadu Buhari rebuild Nigeria.

In his speech, the Cross River State governor said the president whom he claimed was making efforts to rebuild Nigeria deserves helping hands from other governors to be successful.

But sources within the Cross River Govenment House told Nigerian Concord Newspaper that the Cross River State governor left the PDP when he saw the step as the only saving grace for him to leave government in 2023 unhurt in the face of the investigation on his N2.7 billion fraud which the EFCC started in August 2016.

One of our reliable sources said: “It was when all efforts to make the EFCC stop the prosecution of the N2.7 billion which involved him and his younger brother, Dr. Frank Ayade, failed that the Cross River State governor ran to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for help.

“And on getting to Osinbajo through the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, Ayade was asked to quit his party and join APC in exchange for the soft landing he was asking for.

“So the story that he left to help Buhari rebuild Nigeria should be told to a toddler because we all know the truth. He needs to get out of the EFCC mess hence his reluctant decision to join APC, a party he had always condemned and described as a killer party”

Recall that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in August 2016 said that Governor Ayade looted N2.7 billion from the Cross River State Treasury and gave same to his younger brother, Frank Ayade, to fund a garment factory.

It would also be recalled that the EFCC had arrested Dr Frank Ayade on the same crime before indicting his elder brother, the governor.

The said arrest which took place at Ayade’s Calabar residence about 3pm that day was the result of a petition filed by one Paul Ifere and other indigenes of the state.

The petition, titled, ‘The Fraud Called Calabar Garment Factory,’’ which was sent to the EFCC on May 12, 2016, accused the state government of spending N2.7bn on the factory through Frank Ayade, who had no defined public role in the administration of Governor Ayade.

Despite Ayade’s administrative bail, Nigerian Concord Newspaper gathered that the EFCC is still investigating several petitions that were written about shady transactions in relation to the Cross River Garment Factory and other matters in the state.

The petition read in part, “Further to my avowed commitments to key into the President Muhammadu Buhari’s change mantra to liberate our country from the epidemic corruption virus, I wish to bring to your notice, knowledge and, indeed, that of the public, the monumental fraud encapsulated in the construction of the Cross River Garment Factory in Calabar by Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State.

“It will interest you to note that from the facts available to me, Governor Ben Ayade’s government so far has spent, through his younger brother, Mr. Frank Ayade, who holds no defined public office, more than N2.7bn on the garment factory.”