Facts have emerged on the role a former Lagos state governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu played in the withdrawal of the murder charge against Ekiti state All Progressives Congress (APC) chairman, Chief Jide Awe and two others.
According to sources, Tinubu, a known ally of Ayodele Fayose, the governor of the state, prevailed on him (Fayose) to drop the charge against the APC chief and Messrs Sola Adenijo and Sefiu Owoniko in exchange for his support on the Ekiti state governorship election.
Fayose, it was learnt, had sought the help of Tinubu, an APC National Leader, to ensure the emergence of his deputy, Prof. Olusola Eleka, who seeks to contest the Ekiti state governorship poll on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Though, Messrs Fayose and Tinubu shared different political parties but they are known to have trade supports on varying issues in the past.
Giving an insight on the sudden change of mind of Fayose on the charge, a source who craved anonymity, said while the governor was adamant on pursuing the case to a logical conclusion, he agreed to drop the charge when Tinubu raised it with him.
Awe and the two others had been on trial for the murder of Madam Juliana Adewunmi and Murphy Jeje – a member of the PDP in 2013, but they were discharged and acquitted by an Ekiti State High Court after the state government the murder charge against them.
“That is politics for you,” a source hinted, noting that Tinubu exploited the desperation of Fayose to produce his successor in convincing him to drop the murder charge.
“Fayose wants Eleka to succeed him and he’s willing to do anything to achieve that,” added the source.
Though, Fayose had rebuffed past advances by leaders from the state to take the issue out of court, another source noted that he (Fayose) find it hard to turn down Tinubu request.
Reports have it that the duo met lately in Lagos, where Fayose had asked Tinubu to provide backing for his succession plan to scale through and save him from glaring political disgrace.
While it was learnt that Tinubu showed reluctance initially, Fayose’s persistence by reminding the APC chieftain of past relationship, proved potent as he (Tinubu) agreed to support his succession plan but with conditions.
Aside request to open Ekiti state Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) books for AlphaBeta, Tinubu’s tax collection firm, for onward management, the former Lagos state governor was also said to have asked for commitment on involving firm(s) recommended by him for award of contracts.
During a recent meet between the duo, it was learnt that Tinubu prevailed on Fayose to drop the murder charge against the accused, impressing on him that the trial will not help his succession plan.
“The governor (Fayose), initially was not comfortable with Asiwaju (Tinubu) suggestion but when he (Tinubu) pointed to him that the division which the trial had caused in the community won’t help Eleka, he (Fayose) became remorse and agreed to withdraw the charge,” noted a source.
Curiously, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Ekiti state, Kolapo Kolade, who applied for the withdrawal of the murder charge against Awe and the two other accused, said the decision, which was sanctioned by Fayose, was done to promote peace and brotherliness among the people of Erinjiyan Ekiti, which is the community where both the complainant and the defendants in the matter hailed from.
However, those in the know hinted that Fayose took the step to prepared ground for reconciliation with Awe, who is likely to anchor Tinubu’s support for his (Fayose) succession plan.
Awe is understood to be having a running battle with Fayemi and may not favour his candidature of the APC– a trait he shared with Tinubu, who is also bitter with the former governor for allegedly cutting ties with him.
“There is no permanent enemy in politics and that may be what most people will learn in this election,” a source who hinted of a possible alliance between Fayose and Awe.
“You know he (Awe) and Fayemi are not in good terms and every indications favoured him (Fayemi) to be APC flagbearer in the upcoming election. So, it will not be difficult for Awe to consider Asiwaju (Tinubu) proposition and support him on Fayose.
“In fact, politics is something you can’t predict and this is what is playing out in the Ekiti governorship election. It’s trade by barter,” the source stressed.