Former Ekiti State Governor Peter Ayodele Fayose has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of criminal breach of trust and theft totalling nearly about N9.6bn
Fayose who was arraigned in the Federal High Court, Lagos was told that himself and his company, Spotless Limited, took the cash to fund his 2014 campaign to become governor.
The case was adjourned until Wednesday and Fayose was remanded into the custody of Nigeria’s main anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
As governor, he had immunity from prosecution.
He has been held and questioned since last Tuesday, when he voluntarily turned up at the EFCC’s offices in Abuja with a crowd of supporters, wearing a T-shirt saying: “EFCC I’m here.”
The latest prosecution is part of Buhari’s pledge to root out corruption in Nigerian politics, which has led to PDP claims of a witch-hunt as most of those charged are its members.
Before the 2015 election, Fayose claimed Buhari was terminally ill with prostate cancer, was too old to be president and would die in office.
He more recently called for the 75-year-old head of state to resign and criticised his decision to be treated abroad for an undisclosed illness that kept him out of Nigeria for months.