Sets up panel to probe Fayemi Governor chasing shadows, says minister
Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Plans to hold governorship election in Ekiti State in 2018 may be a mirage, as the Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, on Monday said he might seek extension of his tenure beyond 2018 in court.
He stated that he was not allowed to complete the four-year tenure in his first term.
Fayose was abruptly impeached by the state House of Assembly in 2006.
But the Supreme Court in 2014 nullified the impeachment about seven months to the end of his first term.
The apex court described the said impeachment as null and void.
Speaking on the state television in Ado-Ekiti yesterday, Fayose said his decision to seek tenure extension would be to complete his first term that was truncated through an illegal impeachment.
The governor, who was explaining why he chose to put his image on the campaign posters currently circulating in every nook and cranny of the state, said since the apex court said his impeachment in 2006 was illegal, he would then have to approach the same court to interpret what that ruling means and also consider seeking a re-election in 2018.
â€œThe â€˜continuityâ€™ poster you see my image in and which is spreading across the state can be interpreted in two ways. First is the need for me to ask the apex court to explain its 2014 ruling that my so-called impeachment in 2014 was illegal, null and void and consider a re-election in 2018 so that I can complete my term.
â€œSecond is for me to get our own, one who is like Ayo Fayose to continue after my tenure in 2018.â€
Speaking also on the lingering non-supply of petrol to the state by the Independent Petroluem Marketers of Nigeria (IPMAN), the governor alleged that the decision of the fuel marketers to stop supply to the state days prior to the burial of late Major Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo was politically-motivated and done in conspiracy with the opposition so as to ensure that the burial of the late governor of the old Western Region fail as he planned.
Meanwhile, Fayose has set up a panel to probe the former Governor of the state and his predecessor, Mr. Kayode Fayemi, who is equally the current Minister of Mines and Steel Development over alleged allegation of financial mismanagement under his (Fayemi) administration as the governor of the state.
The eight-man panel, inaugurated in Ado Ekiti yesterday and headed by a retired high court judge, Bamidele Oyewole, is saddled with the responsibility of ascertaining how much Ekiti State Government received as statutory allocations during the period under review and how same were disbursed and to ascertain the amount the Ekiti State Government took as loans during the period under review and how they were utilised among others.
â€œIn compliance with the resolution of the Ekiti State House of Assembly passed on May 10, 2017, urging the governor of Ekiti state to look into the financial transactions of Ekiti State under the administration of Fayemi, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, acting pursuant to Section 2 of the Ekiti State commission of inquiry law cap C10 laws of Ekiti State 2012, has constituted a judicial commission of inquiry to look into the financial transactions of Ekiti State between 2010 and 2014.
â€œThe terms of reference of the commission are as follows: â€˜To ascertain how much Ekiti State Government received as statutory allocations during the period under review and how same were disbursed.
â€˜To look into the financial transactions of Ekiti state between 2010 and 2014.
â€˜To ascertain the amount received on behalf of the state from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).
â€˜To investigate the allegation of fraud/loss of funds, including the diversion and conversion of the State Universal Basic Education Board Fund.
â€˜To ascertain the amount the Ekiti State government took as loans during the period under review and how they were utilised and all other issues relating to the finances of the Ekiti State government within the period under review and;
â€˜To make appropriate recommendations to the Ekiti state government.â€™
â€œThe judicial commission of inquiry has three (3) months to submit its report to the governor,â€ a statement issued by the state government said.
Members of the panel are: Silas Bamidele Oyewole â€“ Chairman. Gbemiga Adaramola (State DPP/ Chairman, NBA Ado-Ekiti)- Secretary Bolawale Awe Idowu Ayenimo Omodara O. Vincent Oladele Blessing Adesoba Oluremi S.B.J Bamise.
However, Fayemi has described Fayose as embarking on an exercise in futility.
He said he didnâ€™t flout the appropriation law or breach the fiscal laid down regulations to warrant the judicial panel, branding Fayose as a leader who sees governance as a tea party, rather than a real business.
Fayemi, in his reaction by his Special Assistant on Media, Yinka Oyebode, said the governorâ€™s action was at variance with the laws of the land which makes it subjudice for anyone to entertain a matter that is already before a court of competent jurisdiction.
Oyebode said Fayoseâ€™s decision to go ahead with the inauguration of the panel, while two cases arising from the planned probe were still pending in court is presumptuous and ill-advised.
â€œIt is obvious, Fayose is desperate to probe the administration of his predecessor in office, Fayemi, for personal vendetta. Yet, he is advised to be guided by the rule of law and decency in this wild goose chase.
â€œThe governor and members of the panel are reminded that the two cases involving the House of Assembly, its leadership and top officials of the present administration are still pending In an Abuja High Court and a Federal High Court in Ado, thus making it an act of illegality for another panel to look into the matter.
â€œThe governor is advised to concentrate on the serious task of governance and refrain from shadow chasing which the current pursuit of personal vendetta through a kangaroo committee clearly represents,â€ he added.