Dr Frank Ayade, a younger brother of the Cross River state Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for alleged fraud.
According to The Punch Dr Ayade was picked up by EFCC operatives at about 3pm on Wednesday in Calabar.
It is believed that the EFCC picked up the governor’s brother due to a petition written by 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.
An eyewitness living close to Ayade’s house in Calabar, Mr. Ekwe Samson, said, “The operatives were many in number. While some led Dr Frank into the house to conduct a search, others waited outside.
“The search lasted for about one hour before they drove off with Dr Frank again. We got information that the anti-graft agency would be visiting before they came.”
An EFCC official from the South-west, who is part of the operatives investigating the matter in Port Harcourt, said, “The commission is investigating several petitions that have been written about shady transactions in relation to the Cross River Garment Factory and other matters in the state.”
Some parts of the petition reads, “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.”
Governor Ayade who has not commented on the issue, however said, that the Calabar Garment Factory was owned by the state government.
He dismissed insinuations that the factory was privately owned, stating that there were verifiable documents to prove that there was no fraud involved.
Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.