Sunday, April 5, 2015 8:31 am
Just six months after his inauguration for a second term as the governor of Ekiti State in the western part of Nigeria, Ayodele Fayose, the alleged garrulous politician is facing another round of impeachment by members of the state House of Assembly.
If this succeeds, then Fayose, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, would make history as the first Nigerian governor to be impeached twice over allegations of various infractions while in office.
Fayose was first impeached on 16, October, 2006 and the Nigerian laws states that it would it take him 10 years to contest for any position in the country. But this was overlooked by his party and he was re-elected by the people of his state for another term in 2014.
But the governor has now received a notice of impeachment containing eight allegations from a majority of the members of the House, mainly under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, which makes 19 of the 26 members.
The impeachment notice, also served his deputy, Kolapo Olusola, has to do with alleged gross misconduct in the exercise of his powers.
The alleged sins of Fayose include:
* 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 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;
* Prevention of the 19 APC legislative members from performing legislative duties with the use of security agents and armed thugs;
*Sponsoring an unlawful impeachment process in the House;
* Spending Ekiti State funds without requisite constitutional approval in contravention of the Constitution;
* Running the government of Ekiti State without legally constituted Executive Council in contravention of Section 192 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;
* Operating an illegal 2014 Budget;
* Instigating illegal sitting of the House.
Signed by Speaker of the House, Adewale Omirin, and sent by courier to Fayose, the governor is expected to respond to the allegations in writing within seven days.
In his response, however, Fayose called the lawmakers jesters and declared that he was not scared of them.
Through his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, the governor called it a script being acted by the APC, but that this had failed.
The governor said he recognised Dele Olugbemi and not Dr Adewale Omirin as the Speaker of the House.
According to Fayose, “Omirin is already in court challenging his impeachment, and common sense dictates that when you are challenging an action already taken in court, you have accepted the consequences of such action pending the determination of the suit you filed.
“Since last year November, these so-called lawmakers abdicated their duties and ran to Lagos only for them to resurface on Wednesday, but they hurriedly ran away again.
“Now they are posting notice of impeachment signed on March 9, 2015 and Ekiti people are asking; was the motion for impeachment moved and adopted in Lagos or Osun State House of Assembly?
“Is impeachment of a governor done along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway inside a moving bus?
“Rather than going about advertising their ignorance and crudity, the APC lawmakers should wait for the court to adjudicate on the case they filed because even the President-Elect, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) will respect the rule of law when he assumes office.”
While dissociating themselves from the impeachment notice on the governor, the seven lawmakers on the platform of the PDP, through their leader, Mr. Dele Olugbemi, wrote to the Commissioner of Police in the state, Director of the Department of State Service, DSS, and the State Chief Judge, saying Omirin had impersonated their own recognised Speaker.
They claimed that Omirin was impeached by the seven of them on 20 November, 2014 and that at no time did the assembly sit and pass a resolution to sack Fayose from office over allegation of gross misconduct.
The letter stated: “resolutions of the House of Assembly cannot be taken outside the precinct of the House and as at today, there is nothing in the records of proceedings of the Ekiti State House of Assembly to show that matter(s) on impeachment of Governor Ayodele Fayose was discussed in the hallowed chamber of the House of Assembly of Ekiti State.
“Dr Adewale Omirin, who signed the purported Impeachment Notice as Speaker of the State House of Assembly, was duly impeached at the plenary session of the House on November 20, 2014.
“Votes and proceedings, Order Papers and Hanzard of sittings of the House are available for clarification.
“In the face of the law, and going by records of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Dr. Adewale Omirin and Adetunji Orisalade stand impeached as Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House respectively.
“On November 26, 2014, Dr. Adewale Omirin filed Suit No: PHC/L/CS/1823/14 at the Federal High Court Lagos, challenging his impeachment.
“The two cases mentioned above are still pending in court.
“Having approached the court to challenge his impeachment, it is trite in law that the impeachment stands until the court decides otherwise.
“In a situation whereby you have approached the court to adjudicate on a matter, it is subjudice to take any further to overreach the court.
“Your Lordship should therefore disregard any correspondence from the Ekiti State House of Assembly, bearing the name and signature of Dr Adewale Omirin as Speaker of the House, until the court determines Suit No: PHC/L/CS/1823/14 challenging the outcome of the House sitting of November 20, 2014 in which he (Omirin) was duly impeached.”
“Knowing that he ceased from being the Speaker of the State House of Assembly since November 20, 2014, Dr Omirin still forged the letterhead of the Office of the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, using same to write a letter and signing same as Speaker of the House of Assembly, an office he no longer occupies.
“This action of Dr Omirin is also geared towards causing breach of the peace of Ekiti State.
“I therefore urge you to use your good offices to investigate these criminal acts perpetrated by Dr Omirin with a view to prosecuting him for forgery and impersonation.”