ADO EKITI – officers and men of the Ekiti State Police Command have beefed up security network in Ado Ekiti and various parts of the state following the impeachment threat by the 19 All Progressive Congress, APC, lawmakers against the state governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose.
Speaking with newsmen in Ado Ekiti, yesterday, the state police Commissioner, Mr. Taiwo Lakanu, said the command has put up a 24-hour surveillance around Ado Ekiti, the state capital particularly the state House of Assembly.
His words “Security personnel have been placed on alert while high visibility patrol is being conducted around Ado Ekiti. We know the tension generated must have caused some apprehension, but we are being proactive because the security of lives and property and general peace of the people is our topmost priority. We are leaving no stone unturned to ensure safety of our citizens and for everybody to go about their normal business without fear or harassment.”
The 19 APC lawmakers were said to have served notice of gross misconduct against Governor Ayodele Fayose, but the governor claimed ignorance over the letter, describing the APC lawmakers as jesters.
Omirin’s security detail restored.
In a sudden twist of fate, the Police authorities were, yesterday, quoted as directing that the full security details of the factional Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Dr. Adewale Omirin, be restored with immediate effect.
The development follows the restoration of the Department of State Service, DSS, personnel attached to Omirin earlier in the day through a directive said to have been issued from Abuja, according to a source close to the Speaker.
It is expected that the Omirin-led lawmakers would hold a plenary session at the Ekiti state House of Assembly on tomorrow, having adjourned after their sitting last Thursday at the same venue.
The 19 All Progressives Congress lawmakers in the Ekiti State House of Assembly had last week initiated moves that may lead to impeachment proceedings against the embattled Governor Fayose.
The Speaker forwarded a notice of gross misconduct to the governor, with a copy of the notice also being sent to his deputy, Dr. Olusola Eleka.
But Fayose in his characteristic manner said the APC lawmakers should stop acting like “jesters”, describing the purported impeachment notice as the “joke of the century.” According to him, the script being acted by the APC is a failed one because no one, no matter how highly placed, will be allowed to test the will of the Ekiti people.
Offences levelled against Fayose
In the letter by the 19 lawmakers entitled, “Re: Notice of Allegations of Gross Misconduct,” sent to Fayose, the APC lawmakers listed eight impeachable offences against the governor.
The offences bordered on impunity, brigandage, stalking and other constitutional breaches including alleged invasion of the House of Assembly with thugs and miscreants, instigating an unconstitutional takeover of the House by seven legislators to sit in contravention of Section 96(2) of the 1999 Constitution, and prevention of the 19 APC legislators from performing their duties with the use of security agents and armed thugs.
Other allegations listed in the notice are: sponsoring an unlawful impeachment process in the house, spending Ekiti State funds without the requisite constitutional approval in contravention of the constitution and running the government without legally constituted Executive Council in contravention of Section 192(2) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. They also accused the governor of operating an illegal 2014 budget as well as sponsoring and instigating illegal sitting of the House in contravention of Section 96(1) of the Constitution.
Ekiti people will defend their mandate – Fayose
Meantime, Fayose was, yesterday, said to have described his governorship as a mandate freely and wholeheartedly given by Ekiti people, saying; “Ekiti people who are the owners of my mandate will defend it against political usurpers, whom they had rejected twice in the last nine months.”
According to his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, the governor also urged the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, to sustain his stand of not allowing the use of the judiciary to change the outcome of elections.
Impeachment threat, a distraction, says Fayose
Fayose, who described the impeachment bid and Supreme Court judgment being made by the All Progressives Congress (APC) as plots to distract him from concentrating on governance and the coming Saturday’s House of Assembly election, called on members and supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State not to be distracted from their goal of delivering all the 26 Assembly seats in the State to the party.
He said, “Sovereignty belongs to the people and the people of Ekiti State on June 21, 2014, surrendered their sovereignty to me to be their governor for four years. Instead of respecting the wish of Ekiti people, which they again affirmed on March 28 and will further affirm on April 11, the APC people that were rejected in two free and fair elections have been trying all tricks to return to power through the back door. They filed several cases in their bid to stop my inauguration as governor and even committed murder in the process.”
Speaking further, Governor Fayose said, “The Speaker of the State House of Assembly then, Dr Adewale Omirin, was assured of assuming office as
Acting Governor and that informed his non-attendance of my inauguration, as he was still hoping that even on October 16, 2014, a court order would be gotten to stop my inauguration. Their evil plots against the mandate of Ekiti people failed then, but up to now, they are not relenting. Today, though Omirin has been duly impeached, he still believes he can be Acting Governor while Dr. Kayode Fayemi that was roundly rejected by Ekiti people is also boasting that he will return to power through the instrumentality of the court.
“However, let me warn the APC as a party to respect the wish of Ekiti people as the PDP and President Goodluck Jonathan respected the wish of Nigerians on the election of Major General Mohammadu Buhari (rtd). Any attempt to undermine the sovereignty of Ekiti people, using whatever instrument will be resisted by the people themselves because power belongs to the people and they have handed it to whom they desire to exercise till October 16, 2018. The APC gladiators in Ekiti should, therefore, emulate President Jonathan and the PDP by waiting till 2018 to try their luck again.”
Adeyeye slams Ekiti APC lawmakers
Meantime, the Minister of State for Works, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, has warned the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its members in Ekiti State to tread cautiously so as not to endanger democracy in the country, saying; “posting notice of impeachment of a State governor online when the House of Assembly never sat to pass any Motion for Impeachment is not only ridiculous, but criminal.” The minister said it was necessary that the President-Elect, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) should call members of APC in Ekiti State to order so that they don’t by their desperation for power in Ekiti State truncate democracy on Nigeria.
Meanwhile,the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Ado Ekiti branch has cautioned both members of APC and PDP not to cause breach of peace in the state. According to the statement by the Ado Ekiti branch chairman, Dr Foluke Dada, yesterday, the association urged all the stake hohders in the state to intervene so that the state will not be turned into a theatre of war.
The NBA equally called judicial staff operating under the banner of State Judiciary Staff Union (JUSUN) to suspend its current strike action so that all pending matters affecting state matters could be adjudicated upon in the interest of all.
Omirin insists there’s no hiding place for Fayose
Meanwhile the factional speaker, Dr. Omirin, last night insisted that the move against the governor was not a joke saying that Governor Fayose would soon realise that there would be no hiding place for him.
Insisting that the move against him was constitutional, the speaker also dismissed the claims by the speaker of the G7 legislators, Dele Olugbemi, saying that the governor and his appointed speaker were acting in ignorance.
In a statement by the Special Adviser on Media to the Speaker, Wole Olujobi, Omirin said Ekiti issue was a matter of rescuing democracy from the gridlock of executive lawlessness and impunity into which the state had been driven by the governor.
He said, “It will soon dawn on Fayose and his aides that the matter at hand goes beyond exuberant media skirmishes that are being deployed to rally support for the governor. Attention of the world has shifted to Ekiti State following the leaked tape detailing electoral fraud perpetrated to give Fayose victory.
After that, several issues in Ekiti State are being questioned on the place of the constitution in nurturing democracy in the country, and as responsible citizens, we must act right to make democracy work.”