By Sunday Aloba, Ado Ekiti
The Ekiti State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has lampooned the state’s House of Assembly over its threat to issue warrant of arrest against former Governor Kayode Fayemi if he fails to appear before it to defend allegation of N40b fraud against him by Governor Ayodele Fayose.
The party also scolded the Assembly for not following due diligence in the handling of its investigative power, saying the House’s arm-twisting tactic was a panicky measure to divert attention from the criminal libel suit by the former minister against a member of the House, Dr Ayodele Omotoso, and the governor’s aide, Lere Olayinka, over allegations of fraud.
The party argued that since allegations over which Fayemi was being invited for investigation were the same allegations over which the minister instituted a libel suit against Fayose’s aides, the Assembly should utilise the matter before the court to establish their case.
The House of Assembly members had last week given the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) an eight–day ultimatum to probe Fayemi, who is also Minister of Mines and Steel Development, failure of which they would sue the anti-graft agency.
They also asked Fayemi to appear before them on Tuesday (tomorrow) failure of which a warrant of arrest would be issued against him.
But reacting in a statement by Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, the party berated the members, accusing them of alleged attempt to shift attention from the libel suit Fayose’s aides to blackmail the EFCC, Federal Government and put the former governor in bad light.
Olatunbosun described the lawmakers as, “idle and a bunch of ignorant Fayose ball boys who don’t know their right from left. They cannot raise any bill except the one brought by Fayose. The present bunch of Assembly members is a caricature of the Honourable Assembly we have been having in Ekiti , this is a big shame”
He said. “Even though we know that Fayemi’s invitation is a clear intention of the House to persecute him by indicting him first through public statements and utterances before asking him to appear before them for investigation, the matter is before the court and so the Assembly lacks the power to invite Fayemi for a clear case of persecution.
“We see the House’s action as a panicky measure coming immediately after Omotoso and Olayinka were served the court summons asking them to defend their allegations of fraud against the minister, all this in order to divert attention from failure to pay workers’ salaries and hide behind debts to continue to bleed the state dry.
“It is unfortunate that a set of people, who ought to show the way in the protection of the law in its justice promotion for the benefit of the citizenry are the same people trying to create impediment to the administration of justice by first delivering guilt verdict on an innocent man and later ask him to appear before them for investigation.
“We are not surprised, however, that Ekiti members of the Assembly are acting in this manner against the backgrounds of members, some of whom are barely educated and who cannot read the provisions of the law to know the protocols of their office to have a better understanding on what they were elected to do,” Olatunbosun said.
Also accusing Fayose of desperation to divert attention from his investigation over alleged election fraud through arms cash diversion and at the same time put Fayemi in bad light, Olatunbosun wondered why it took more than two years before the governor realised that the House of Assembly was the vehicle through which he could get Fayemi investigated over alleged funds diversion, figures of which the governor had changed several times.
Wondering why the Assembly members that could not defend their integrity are the ones inviting the minister to defend trumped-up charges, he also slammed the members of the House of Assembly, accusing them of “ineptitude, mediocrity and slave boys of a reckless and lawless governor”.
He said: “Apart from the fact that Fayose keeps barely educated people in Assembly to enable him manipulate them, no fewer than 12 of the lawmakers were accused of certificate forgery by DSS and when the secret police asked them to come forward to defend their certificates, all of them fled the state to stay in hiding.
“It is therefore an irony that the people that have not cleared themselves of alleged crime of certificate forgery are the ones trying to persecute an innocent man and world-class scholar by inviting him for investigation after delivering a guilt verdict on him in the media and public fora.
“Besides not having constitutional powers to act as petitioners in matter that concerns only the executive arm of government, majority of the members do not possess educational qualifications that can prepare them for the duties they were elected to perform, hence their directionless conduct and acting as tools of the governor while they suffer in penury.”
He added: “After many futile attempts to rubbish Fayemi, including setting up many secret panels to implicate him, Fayose has resorted to making the House of Assembly his tool by tuning it to petition writer.
“All issues raised in the frivolous petition have been adequately addressed in the comprehensive handover notes in possession of the members of the House of Assembly, which they have refused to read but have chosen their primary assignment as Fayose’s attack dogs.”
He explained that the Assembly members hadn’t gone through the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to understand the protocol of their office and so they acted in ignorance.
He said: “Was the money they mentioned not appropriated for? The money was appropriated by the Fourth Assembly during Fayemi’s administration and there was an audited report of the appropriated bill yearly.
“Was the bond not approved? Were the contracts not approved? Was any of the monies they’re talking about found in Fayemi’s account like Fayose who keeps billions of state funds in his accounts and takes money without appropriation?
“Budgeting under Fayemi was done thoroughly and all spending went through due process, which earned Ekiti State the best in budget execution in the country for year 2014.
“The House under Fayose has been gagged to the extent that they cannot answer their names without the approval of the Fayose.
“If they don’t know their responsibility to the people, I will make myself available to teach them as a former principal officer of the House.
“Most of them, who are drop-outs, were picked from herbal homes and on the streets, so we are not surprised that they have turned themselves to market place jesters as against what they’re elected to do.
“Fayose is only looking for who to pull down with him so that he won’t be accused of being the only thief. Governor Fayemi’s achievements in Ekiti State can never be rubbished by Fayose who is always enmeshed in one financial misappropriation or the other.
Fayemi served Ekiti diligently for four years and lived in Ekiti thereafter until his present national assignment of rebuilding Nigeria which the likes of Fayose and his PDP destroyed in 16 years and which he has been doing well so, he cannot be distracted by a bunch of idle lawmakers who know nothing about lawmaking.
“We shall know where Fayose will spend his time after his tenure having committed a lot of atrocities. Fayemi finished his tenure well, handed over to Fayose in a civilised manner and was welcomed home by his people with pomp and pageantry but Fayose’s first tenure ended in disgrace while his present tenure is likely to end the same way”, Olatunbosun said.
“We are however comforted with the fact that the reading public already know that apart from being a pathological liar and an incurable kleptomaniac, Fayose runs his government on lies so nobody takes anything coming from Ekiti State government under Fayose serious.”, Olatunbosun concluded.