Fayemi Goes to Court, Seeks Dissolution of Judicial Panel

KAYODE Fayemi, minister of mines and steel development and a former governor of Ekiti State, has gone to court, seeking the dissolution of the judicial panel set up by Governor Ayodele Fayose of the state to try him for financial mismanagement.

Fayemi is challenging the competence of the judicial commission of inquiry set to probe his administration, suspecting that the membership composition had vitiated the integrity of the panel.

The suit was filed at the Ado-Ekiti High Court, where Fayemi sought an interlocutory injunction to restrain the state government and the commission from going ahead with the probe.

In the suit, Fayemi is asking the court to restrain the state governor, the state attorney-general and members of the judicial commission of inquiry from taking any step, following the pendency of two cases on the planned probe in courts of competent jurisdiction.

Joined in the suit filed by Rafiu O. Balogun, his counsel, are the state House of Assembly and speaker of the House of Assembly.

Fayose, had two weeks ago, set up the panel led by Justice Silas Oyewole, a former acting chief Judge of Ekiti State, to conduct unfettered investigations into the state’s finances under Fayemi.

Fayemi is also seeking a declaration that the motion and subsequent resolution of the state House of Assembly directing the governor (first defendant) to set up a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate or probe his administration are unlawful, illegal and ought to be declared null and void. More so because the resolution was passed during the pendency of a case involving him and the House of Assembly and its speaker, which touched on the legality of the summons and powers of the Assembly to conduct any investigation or direct any other person or body to do so without strict compliance with the tenets of the 1999 constitution.

He is also seeking a declaration that the House of Assembly cannot exercise its power under Section 128 of the 1999 Constitution, to direct the state governor to set up a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate his administration while the assembly had earlier conducted its investigation and submitted its report to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, urging the anti-graft body to further conduct discreet investigation and prosecute him and some officials of his administration.

Other declarations being sought by Fayemi are: “That the setting up of the panel after the conclusion of its investigation by the House of Assembly of allegations of financial malpractices and the submission of same to the EFCC would amount to oppression, double jeopardy and a clear abuse of legislative power.

Also being sought from the court are declarations that the judicial commission of inquiry set up by Fayose was not properly constituted as the chairman, secretary and other members of the commission cannot be apolitical, neutral or unbiased because of their affinity with the governor of the state, “which therefore put the independence and impartiality of the panel into serious distrust.”

Besides, Fayemi is seeking an order of the court nullifying the resolution of the state House of Assembly of May 10, directing the governor to constitute the panel of inquiry.

Fayemi further said he was convinced that the chairman of the commission, the secretary and all other members of the commission are cronies and stooges of Fayose and have been appointed to act a script already prepared by their appointing authority, as touted by Lere Olayinka and Samuel Omotosho before the constitution of the commission of inquiry.

 —  Jun 12, 2017 @ 01:00 GMT