From Jimoh Joseph, Ado-Ekiti
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, citing 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 banned Fayemi and his Commissioner of Finance, Dapo Kolawole, from holding public offices for 10 years.
In a reaction, the All Progressives Congress (APC), through its Publicity Secretary inthe State, Taiwo Olatunbosun, 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 advise 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 executive rascality arising from his ignorance of the law, constitution and total disregard for the rule of law”.