• Attempt to harass ex-gov’ll be resisted –APC
From Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State House of Assembly has fulfilled its threat by issuing warrant of arrest against former governor and Minister of Solid Minerals and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
The assembly said it issued the arrest warrant because Fayemi refused to honour three invitations extended to him, to explain alleged corrupt practices when he was governor of the state.
Explaining the rationale behind issuance of the warrant, Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Samuel Omotosho said the House’s action was in pursuant to Section 129(1) (d) of the 1999 Constitution, which empowered them to so act following alleged misappropriation of over N40 billion under the minister’s administration as governor of the state.
The House has mandated Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibahim Idris and the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Wilson Inalegwu and other security agencies, including international Police (Interpol) to arrest Fayemi.
At a press briefing, yesterday, Speaker Kola Oluwawole, Omotoso and House Leader, Tunji Akinyele, explained the warrant was targeted at giving the minister an opportunity to explain some allegations of corruption slammed on him.
Omotoso added that the assembly had earlier summoned the former governor on March 10, 2016 with a reminders on August 27 and January 30, 2017, which Fayemi declined.
Describing this as a flagrant breach of Section 1(1) of the 1999 Constitution, which empowered the assembly to summon any serving or former officers of a state, he said: “During former governor Fayemi’s administration, he awarded a N304 million contract for planting of flowers for urban renewal project in Ado Ekiti. Over 50 percent of the contract sum was paid but, there was no single flower anywhere.
“The former governor also purchased 133 vehicles for royal fathers. The vehicles were given out in August 2013 and the contract papers were done in November. This was a clear case of misappropriation.
“He also paid N24 million for the construction of Awedele Market. The money was paid to a phoney company and no construction was seen. The most disturbing was that, eight days to the expiration of his tenure, Fayemi withdrew N852 million from UBEC account which he was not a signatory to and diverted to other areas we could not trace.
“The former governor also paid N115 million for the construction of a new governor’s office. But no structure was put in place as we speak.
The same was witnessed in the construction of the state pavilion, the governor’s lodge and the five-kilometre road project, where billions were diverted. He even took N4 billion loan four days before he left office.
“All these needed explanations. The summon was not meant to harass him. This is just an opportunity for him to clear his name. But, should the security agencies fail to bring him here, then, we will go the legal way, because we have the constitutional powers to summon any former or serving chief executive.
Regardless, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti has described the arrest warrant as a joke taken too far.
In its response to the development, in a statement in Ado-Ekiti, the party said: “We wonder when it becomes the lot of fugitives to sit in judgment to persecute an innocent, law-abiding citizen and responsible leader like Fayemi.
“This is the kind of assembly you get when characters, such as the current members, were handpicked by (Governor Ayodele) Fayose.
“The APC wishes to state clearly that Dr. Fayemi is too busy and focused in his national assignments to be distracted by a bunch of loafers. We warn that any attempt to embarrass Fayemi, in any form, will not be taken lightly by the party.”