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THE Ekiti State government has barred the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, from holding
public office in and outside the state, declaring that he is unfit to hold public office.
The government, which conveyed the decision in a white paper made public on Monday, also barred a former Commissioner for Finance in the Fayemi administration in the state, Mr Dapo Kolawole, from holding public office.
The government said both men were barred from holding any public office for a period of 10 years.
The white paper was based on the report of the Justice Silas Oyewole Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Finances of Ekiti State during the administration of Dr Fayemi as governor of Ekiti State, which submitted its report the panel on December 13, 2017.
The State’s Commissioner for Information, Youth and Sports, Mr Lanre Ogunsuyi, read the report which said in part: “Government notes that the last administration fully expended the N25billion bond before its exit.”
The report added: “Government rejects the recommendation on the recovery of the sum of N2,750,000,000 (N2.75bn) allocated for the execution of the contract for the ultra-modern market, which was never executed from Dr. John Kayode Fayemi , Mr. Vincent Dapo Kolawole and all other members of His Excellency’s Executive Council and accepts to recover the fund from Dr Fayemi and his Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Kolawole.”
The government directed that the state’s Ministry of Justice should “institute appropriate legal action(s) to this effect,” and added that “Dr Fayemi and his Finance Commissioner, Mr Kolawole, should be made to account for the whereabouts of the fund allocated to actual construction of the new governor’s office.”
The white paper, while declaring Dr Fayemi and Mr. Kolawole unfit for public office, said: “Both Dr Fayemi and Mr Kolawole are recommended as unfit to hold any public office in the state for their refusal to appear before the Commission of Inquiry, even after the determination of the case challenging the inauguration of this commission of inquiry before the Ekiti State High Court.
“Their disrespect to the constituted authority and the undignified roles they played in the whole contracts saga which were obviously against the interest of the state they were supposed to protect. They should be barred from holding public office for a specified period.”
In explaining the decisions, Mr Ogunsuyi, who announced that the duo had been banned for 10 years, said “government views accountability and probity as the 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 intends to carry out all the recommendations in the report. “
Ogusuyi had briefed newsmen after the state executive council has received and deliberated on the commission white paper, the Commissioner for Information, Mr Lanre Ogunsuyi said that Ekiti State was “a pacesetter when it comes to the management of finances.”
Reacting to the white paper, Dr Fayemi described the ban as contained in the white paper as a “joke taken too far.”
Fayemi, who reacted through his media aide, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, said the outcome of the probe panel was “pre-meditated verdict of the Ekiti State Government, as contained in the white paper submitted by the panel set up by Governor Ayo Fayose to investigate the finances of the state between 2010 and 2014.”
He said: “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.
“Fayose was however misguided into believing that he could pass a death sentence on Dr Fayemi’s public service with the white paper. This is not only laughable, but ridiculous, as neither Governor Fayose nor his 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.
“We urge the teeming supporters of Dr Fayemi, 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.

“It shall not stand.  It is nothing but a joke taken too far, perhaps joke of the century.”

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