The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State has described Monday’s White Paper on the probe panel report on former Governor Kayode Fayemi’s administration as a desperate bid by Governor Ayodele Fayose to embarrass the former governor.
It described Fayose’s action as a failed desperation that “cannot stand the test of judicial scrutiny in both form and content”.
Fayose had set up a judicial commission of enquiry to probe Fayemi’s administration notably to unravel how Fayemi allegedly embezzled N852m SUBEB cash loan obtained from Access Bank.
Fayemi kicked against the composition of the panel in court, sitting partisanship of members who were allegedly PDP members and some civil servants that served under Fayose’s authority, which made their membership suspect to a fair hearing.
The Access Bank appeared before the panel to exonerate Fayemi, explaining that Fayemi never stole that but that it (the bank) took back the loan to its vault when the state government failed to firm up agreement on loan repayment.
Nevertheless, the panel turned in its verdict holding Fayemi culpable and, subsequently, Fayose raised a panel to come up with a White Paper, which yesterday banned Fayemi and his Commissioner of Finance, Dapo Kolawole, from holding public offices for 10 years.
But in a reaction by the Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, the party described both the panel and White Paper as a kangaroo stunt to nail Fayemi, saying the verdict would not stand in the face of illegality that went into the exercise.
Olatunbosun described Fayose as “a man who cannot survive in a society where the law works”, regretting that even lawyers in his government failed to teach him some basic tenets of how law works in placing ban on Nigerian citizens to hold public office.
Olatunbosun said: “All Nigerians know that Fayose is recklessly lawless and cannot survive in societies where the law works.
“His so-called White Paper is not only laughable but also a disgrace to all Ekiti people home and abroad with the way that Fayose has taken ignorance, vendetta and debauchery to a ridiculous level because we knew all along that this is what Fayose wanted to do.
“We had expected his Attorney General, if he knows his onions, to have advised him that only a competent court of law can bar Nigerians from holding public office under the Nigerian Constitution.
“A situation where Fayose assembled PDP members and pliable civil servants as a panel with a strict directive to indict Fayemi at all costs and thereafter issue a White Paper banning him from holding public office cannot hold water in a society where the law works.
“With the way he is conducting himself desperately to stop Fayemi from holding public office, we are convinced that Fayose is seriously going through a political haemorrhage and therefore his resorting to political desperation and unconstitutional means to nail our leader and a serving Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by any means possible.
“Neither Fayose nor Ekiti State Government has the power to bar or prevent Dr Fayemi or any other citizen from holding public office but a competent court of law. Such wishful thinking cannot stand judicial scrutiny and we advert Fayose and his pitiable undertakers to read the Supreme Court judgment and Atiku Abubakar in similar matter.”
APC spokesman said that by his “so-called White Paper that cannot over-rule the Supreme Court judgment as a precedent, Fayose has demonstrated recklessness, lawlessness and display of executive rascality arising from his ignorance of the law, constitution and total disregard for the rule of law”.
He added: “It is now glaring that despite Fayose’s empty boasts daily that Dr. Fayemi is a paperweight politician who is not popular at home, the governor’s latest action has proved that the reverse is the case, as this barbaric action to halt the political career of a shining Ekiti star has shown that Fayemi is in league of nightmare Fayose has to contend with.
“It is an irony that Fayose who is supposed to be banned from holding public office because of the plethora of criminal and financial misappropriation cases hanging on his neck is the one unilaterally banning somebody who held public office as governor without any blemish and is currently holding that of a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and has performed excellently well as shown by the ‘Award of Public Excellence’ trophy bestowed on him by credible corporate organisations.
“We expect someone occupying such an exalted position of a governor like Fayose to be properly briefed and educated on the limitations of his powers as the head of the executive arm of government primarily to formulate policy and implement laws rather than interpreting the law and worst still, assuming the position of a judge in a matter involving him as a party.
“We are not going to lose any sleep over a biased political report by a panel of PDP members set up by a PDP governor for the purpose of framing up our leader as a way of settling political scores.
“This is executive recklessness and political rascality taken too far by Fayose and his kangaroo panel. We wonder where he got the power to bar a leading member of the opposition in a democracy.
“We wish to assure our party members and the good people of Ekiti State that the so-called White Paper recommendation by Fayose’s kangaroo panel is not worth more than the paper on which it is written and this shall be challenged in a court of law and we are confident that this shall be quashed because there is no legal precedent or basis for it in the history of our country.
“We also plead with Nigerians to bear with Ekiti people in this moment of our governor’s lawlessness that has negative implication for the integrity of Ekiti people in choosing their leader.
“We also wish to remind Fayose that his immunity will expire in October and must be prepared to resume trials on his many criminal cases, including those pending in various courts.”