Ekiti State Government yesterday banned former governor of Ekiti State and Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and his finance commissioner, Mr. Dapo Kolawole, from holding any public office in the state and Nigeria for 10 years.
The state government took the decision following the acceptance of the report of the white paper on the Judicial Panel of Inquiry by the Ekiti State Executive Council.
Fayemi and Kolawole were so banned for refusing to appear before the commission even after the determination of the case challenging the inauguration of the commission of inquiry before the state High Court.
“Their disrespect to constituted authority and the undignified roles they played in a contract saga were obviously against the interest of the state they were supposed to protect. They are banned from holding public office in Ekiti and any part of Nigeria.”
Briefing newsmen after the State Executive Council had received and deliberated on the commission’s white paper, Commissioner for Information, Youths and Sports Development, Lanre Ogunsuyi, said Ekiti State is prudent when it comes to the management of finances.
He said: “Government views accountability and probity as 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 intends to carry out the recommendations in the report.”
As part of the highlights of the white paper, the government mandated Fayemi and his finance commissioner to refund N2.7 billion allegedly allocated for the execution of the contract of an ultra-modern market never executed.
The government further direct the Ministry of Justice to institute appropriate legal actions to that effect.
“Fayemi and Kolawole should be made to account for the difference of N340 million from the N1.5 billion earmarked from the bond proceeds for the upgrade of infrastructure at Ikogosi warm spring, which could not be accounted for.”
“The former governor and his finance commissioner were to also pay other monies running into billions of naira to the state government coffers,” Ogunsuyi added.
Governor Ayodele Fayose, also defended the government’s decision on the white paper and insisted the government has done the right thing.
Meanwhile, former governor Fayemi has described the ban placed on him and his finance commissioner, Kolawole, as a joke taken too far, saying it is not only laughable, but ridiculous.
He said the entire process of the panel set up by Fayose to investigate the finances of the state between 2010 and 2014 was discredited right from the beginning.
Fayemi said the agenda of the panel was to rubbish his public service record.
His Senior Special Assistant on Media, Olayinka Oyebode, in a statement, said the panel’s recommendations only confirmed that it was compromised right from inception and targeted against Fayemi.
The statement read: “The attention of the Media Office of Dr Fayemi has been drawn to the pre-meditated verdict of the Ekiti State government, as contained in the white paper submitted by the panel set up by Governor Fayose to investigate the finances of the state between 2010 and 2014.
“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 responsible manner, devoid of prejudice, witch-hunting and a calculated attempt to victimise a citizen…”