My 10-year Ban ‘A Big Joke’ – Fayemi

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has challenged the 10-year ban slammed on him from holding political office by an Ekiti State Government White Paper.
Fayemi, in a statement issued on his behalf by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Yinka Oyebode, to newsmen on Monday in Ado Ekiti, described the action as “a big joke.”
The Ekiti State Government banned the Minister from holding public office in the state for 10 years following his indictment by a judicial commission of inquiry which probed his tenure as Governor of Ekiti State between 2010 and 2014. A white paper stipulating the ban was released Monday.
The state also banned Dapo Kolawole, who served as Commissioner for Finance under Fayemi.
In the white paper, received by Fayose, Monday, the government also chided Messrs Fayemi and Kolawole for their refusal to appear before the commission even after the case filed at the High Court, challenging the setting of the commission, was decided in favour of the commission.
The report had accused Fayemi of diverting funds meant for the construction of various projects, for which the state is now indebted.
The Commissioner for Information, Lanre Ogunsuyi, while addressing journalists after the State executive council meeting on Monday, where the white paper was officially approved, said Messrs Fayemi and Kolawole exhibited disrespect for a constituted authority, in spite of their “undignified” roles in administering the state during their tenure.
“They are banned from holding public office in Ekiti and any part of Nigeria,” he declared.
“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 intend to carry out all the recommendations in the report,” he said.
However, in a statement, Fayemi said the contents of the White Paper was “a pre-meditated verdict that cannot stand.”
The said neither Governor Ayo Fayose nor his government had the constitutional powers to ban him from holding political office, either in Ekiti or any part of Nigeria.
“While we believe 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, witch hunting 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.
“One is therefore not surprised at the recommendations of the White Paper, it only goes to confirm our initial position that the panel was compromised right from inception and targeted against the former governor.
“In his desperation, Fayose chose the crude and ignoble path towards hitting a perceived political foe,’’ the statement read in part.
It added that: “In the process, they ignored the rule of law and behaved as if the court does not matter, thus making their actions subjudiced to the court.
“Fayose was misguided into believing that he could pass a death sentence on Fayemi’s public service with the white paper, this is not only laughable, but ridiculous, as neither him nor his paid agents have the power to bar anyone from political participation.
“The entire process and the character personae involved are discredited and since it is impossible to build something on nothing, legally speaking, their recommendation is not only null and void, it is a joke taken too far.
“We urge the teeming supporters of the minister, the good people of Ekiti State and the general public not to be disturbed by the development, it is simply another act of illegality, from an administration that has elevated political debauchery to state craft.”

Author: News Editor

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