Politics

Alleged Graft: Fayose inaugurates panel to probe Fayemi’s tenure

Governor of Ekiti State, Peter Ayodele Fayose has inaugurated a
Judicial Commission of Enquiry to investigate allegations of fraud
against former governor of the state and current Minister for Steel
and Minerals Resources Development, John Kayode Fayemi. The Commission
is to submit its findings in three months.

This was in compliance with the recent resolution of the State House
of Assembly directing the governor to so do.

Explaining the rationale behind the development, governor Fayose,
whose speech was read by the Secretary to State Government (SSG), Mrs.
Modupe Alade, to journalists at the government office Exco chambers,
Ado-Ekiti, said: ” In compliance with the resolution of the State
House and pursuant to the powers conferred on Mr. Governor in section
2 of the Ekiti State Commission of Enquiry Cap C10 Laws of Ekiti
State, 2012, His Excellency, Governor Peter Ayodele Fayose, has set up
a Judicial Commission of Enquiry to look into the financial
transactions of the state between 2010 and 2014.”

Headed by retired Justice Silas Bamidele Oyewole of the Ekiti State
High Court, the Commission has as its terms of reference, to include;
to ascertain how much Ekiti State Government received as statutory
allocations during the period under review and how same were
disbursed; look into the financial transactions of Ekiti State between
2010 and 2014; ascertain the amount received on behalf of the State
from the Universal Basic Education
Commission (UBEC); investigate the allegations of fraud/loss of funds,
including the diversion and conversion of the UBEC funds; ascertain
the amount that the Ekiti State Government tool as loans during the
period under review and how they were utilized; including all other
issues relating to the finances of the Ekiti State Government within
the period under review, and to make appropriate recommendations to
the Ekiti State Government.”

Asked if setting up a probe into Fayemi’s tenure isn’t witch-hunt,
both the SSG and the state’s Commissioner for Justice, Owoseni Ajayi
clarified that the development was in strict adherence to the law of
the state, incidentally signed into Law in 2012 by Fayemi himself.

Alade said: “This is no witch-hunt because severally, the State House
of Assembly, that is conferred with the power to look into the
finances of the state, has invited former governor John Kayode Fayemi
to clarify some issues bothering on the finances of the state such as
the SUBEB funds which was mismanaged and others. But despite having
been invited for three times, he has refused to honour the invitation.

“Since he has refused to do that, the governor, acting on the
directives by the state Assembly and the powers conferred on him by
the constitution, has set up this judicial Commission of Enquiry.

Clarifying further and substantiating with provisions of the state’s
Law, Owoseni said: “Let me state clearly that what has just been done
with the setting up of a Judicial Commission of Enquiry is in strict
compliance with the section two of the Ekiti State Law on the
establishment of Judicial Commission of Enquiry and fortunately, this
particular law was signed into Law in 2012 by Dr. Kayode Fayemi, which
means it is an extant Law, a Law of
the state and not intended to witch-hunt anybody.

The Commission is fact finding and there is no cause for anybody to be
afraid of the proceedings of the Commission which is quasi-judiciary
and would be in the open court and not hidden from anybody.

The principles of fair hearing connotes that all parties must be given
a hearing in the proceedings. It further states that before judgement
is passed on another body or before any party is condemned, before
judgement is passed on any issues, the other party must be given fair
hearing.

“That fair hearing proceedings of the Law is not unlimited, where
adequate notice and service have been confirmed served on you, and you
abdicated your right of defence, then, the issue of fair-hearing would
not applicable at all. I am sure this Commission of Enquiry would give
all parties connected a fair hearing. It is not at all targeted at
former governor Kayode Fayemi in person, but it is to find facts as
to how the finances of the state were dispensed under that
administration. So, if anybody is called upon by that Commission, and
served adequate notice through medium by which they can be informed,
and they abdicated their right to defend or present facts contrary to
what is presented, then they will be taken as if they have abandoned
their right of fair hearing and any judgement passed thereof, any
resolution passed thereof, would be binding on such persons, ” he
said.

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