The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has stated that the 10-year ban placed on him from holding any public office both in Ekiti state and the country by the Governor Ayo Fayose-led state government is a joke taken too far.
Newsworth recalls that the former governor of Ekiti State, and the Finance commissioner under his administration, Mr. Dapo Kolawole, were on Monday banned by the state government from holding any public office in the state and the country for 10 years.
The decision against Fayemi and his erstwhile commissioner was taken at the State Executive Council meeting, which deliberated on the White Paper on the report of the Justice Silas Oyewole Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the finances of Ekiti State between October 2010 and October 2014 when Fayemi held sway as governor.
The seven-man panel set up by Governor Fayose and headed by Justice Oyewole had on December 13, 2017 submitted its reports to the state government for necessary action. The state government based its action on the refusal of Fayemi, and the former commissioner to appear before the panel even after the determination of the case challenging its inauguration before the Ekiti State High Court.
But Fayemi described the decision of the commission as a joke of the century, regretting that his successor chose a crude and ignoble path just to hit at a perceived political enemy.
The minister, in a statement signed by his senior special assistant on media, Oluyinka Oyebode, claimed that the outcome of the panel report was a “pre-meditated verdict of the Ekiti State Government”.
According to the statement, “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 Dr Kayode 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 Dr Fayemi.
“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”.
Stating that it is laughable and ridiculous for Fayose to believe that he could pass a death sentence on his public service with the White Paper, Fayemi asserted that neither his successor nor paid agents has 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 ultra vires,” he said.
The ex-governor advised his supporters, the Ekiti people as well as the general public not to be disturbed by the development, insisting that “it is simply another act of illegality, from an administration that has elevated political debauchery to state craft.
“It shall not stand. It is nothing but a joke taken too far, perhaps joke of the century”, he added.