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Former Nigeria governor arraigned on corruption charges

[JURIST] Ayodele Fayose [Wikipedia profile], the former governor of the Nigerian state of Ekiti [official website] has been arraigned on corruption charges in Nigeria [JURIST news archive], court officials said Tuesday. Fayose is accused of embezzling 1.2 billion naira in state funds, among other charges. He was arrested last week after surrendering himself to Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) [official website]; Fayose had been in hiding overseas since he was impeached [Online Nigeria report] for corruption last year. The EFCC has said it is currently investigating about 15 former state governors for alleged corruption [JURIST news archive], endemic in the populous west African state. The chairman of the commission said in October at least six would be charged [JURIST report]. AFP has more.

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo [official website; BBC profile] declared a state of emergency in Ekiti [JURIST report] last year after Fayose's impeachment. Obasanjo called Fayose's removal unconstitutional because lawmakers also replaced the chief judge who had been presiding over Fayose's corruption trial. After confusion began over who would assume the acting governor role, Obasanjo suspended Fayose as well as the state assembly and appointed a retired major-general to handle Ekiti's affairs for the next six months, saying the move was necessary to avoid a breach of order and safety.

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