• ‘It cannot stand, it is a joke taken too far’
Former governor of Ekiti State and Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, and his finance commissioner, Mr. Dapo Kolawole, have been barred from holding any public office in the state and Nigeria for 10 years.
The sanction followed the acceptance by the Ekiti State Executive Council of the white paper on the judicial panel of inquiry that investigated Fayemi’s administration. The ban was predicated on the refusal of Fayemi and Kolawole to appear before the commission even after the determination of the case challenging the inauguration of the panel by Ekiti State High Court.
“Their disrespect to the constituted authority and the undignified roles they played in the whole contracts saga were obviously against the interest of the state they were supposed to protect. They are banned from holding public office in Ekiti and any part of Nigeria.”
The Commissioner for Information, Mr. Lanre Ogunsuyi described Ekiti State as a pacesetter when it comes to management of finances.
“Government views accountability and probity as hallmark of good governance. Therefore, the government decided to set up the judicial panel of inquiry in line with its law enacted in 2012. The government viewed seriously the report and it intends to carry out all the recommendations, “ Ogunsuyi said.
Among other highlights of the white paper is that Fayemi and Kolawole should refund N2.7 billion which was allegedly allocated for building of an ultra-modern market but was not executed. The government further directed the Ministry of Justice to institute appropriate legal actions to this effect.
“Fayemi and Kolawole should be made to account for the difference of N340 million from the N1.5 billion earmarked from the bond proceeds for the upgrade of infrastructure at Ikogosi Warm Spring which could not be accounted for, “ the panel recommended.
The commission also said the contractor that furnished the government house built by the Fayemi’s administration should be made to refund N324.8 million because the contract should not have been more than N280 million.
The panel said it found out that KITWOOD Nigeria Limited to which the contract of over N600 million was awarded had no traceable address as “the address on the Letter of Award is a virgin land at opposite the new Central Bank along new Iyin Road, Ado Ekiti.”
The former governor and the commissioner are also to pay other monies running to billions of naira to the state government coffers.
Governor Ayodele Fayose who received the white paper said: “We are doing what is right within the ambit of the law by appointing competent people for the assignment. We must be seen to be doing the right thing and it is not wrong to ask how the finances of the state have been appropriated within a given time and we are following due process.
“The All Progressives Congress (APC) government says they are looking into this and that, even if you say they are biased, what can anyone do? I am part of the panel that sat for the inquiry. They submitted the report to me and I presented it to appropriate organ and I will do the same with this document. This is not personal in any way, we are only doing the right thing and following due process.
“ The presidency appointed Ibrahim Magu and Prof. Mamoud and these people are doing their work. The Federal Government also appointed judges, does this mean that these appointees would not do the right things?”
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has described as pre-meditated verdict, the Ekiti State Government white paper submitted by the panel set up by Governor Ayodele Fayose to investigate the finances of the state between 2010 and 2014.
In a reaction through his media aide, Yinka Oyebode yesterday, Fayemi said; “While it is part of the responsibilities of the state administration to look into the finances of the state at any point in time, we are also of the belief that such must be done in a very responsible manner devoid of prejudice, witchhunting and a calculated attempt to victimise a citizen.
“In this particular case, the entire process is discredited right from the beginning, as the only agenda of the panel was to rubbish Fayemi’s public service record.
“In his desperation, Governor Fayose chose the crude and ignoble path towards hitting a perceived political foe.
In the process, they ignored the rule of law and behaved as if the court does not matter. Thus making their actions subjudice to the court.
“It shall not stand. It is nothing but a joke taken too far, perhaps joke of the century.”
Source :Nigeria Guardian