The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has petitioned the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, alerting him of alleged plots by the All Progressives Congress, APC, to compromise a section of the judiciary to remove him from office.
He said the essence of the plot was to silence him as the voice of the opposition in the country because he had “bluntly rejected all overtures to him to defect into the ruling APC or stop talking.”
In a letter addressed to Justice Onnoghen, Mr. Fayose alleged that “certain APC chieftains were again making subterranean moves to manipulate and compromise a section of the Judiciary, particularly some judges, to get through the back door what they failed severally to achieve through the ballot box as well as in open court, even in matters already decided by the Supreme Court.”
“At a recent meeting held in Ado-Ekiti, the State capital, at which several stalwarts and chieftains of the All Progressives Congress were in attendance, two former governors of the State and members of the APC, namely Engr. Segun Oni and Dr. Kayode Fayemi, now a Federal Minister, boasted that there is no going back on the latest plans to subvert the will of the people of Ekiti freely given; wrest the governance of Ekiti from me at all costs before the expiration of my tenure in October 2018 through orchestrated but dubious legal process; and thereby render nugatory the sacred mandate of the people given unto me openly and unequivocally when I won in all the 16 local governments of the state while the then incumbent Governor, Kayode Fayemi recorded zero,” the governor alleged.
He said the plot was to be executed through a fresh suit which would be filed against him on allegations already decided by the Supreme Court.
“This time, the plotters of this judicial coup-de-tat plan to procure the services of a compromised or malleable judge to get self-serving ‘jankara’ and kangaroo judgment with the intention of having the Supreme Court reverse itself on the June 2014 Ekiti election,” he said.
“Segun Oni and Kayode Fayemi boastfully claimed that they have enlisted the assurances of Justice Okon Abang and one or two other judges in the concocted fresh suit, hinged on the report of a useless, senseless, and orchestrated military report not known to the Electoral law.”
He urged the chief justice to note the judicial pronouncements by the courts of concurrent jurisdiction as well as the scathing remarks of appellate courts on how Justice Abang had been used in the past to ‘endanger democracy’.
“My Lord, you have a duty to ensure that no Judge under your watch is enlisted into this diabolical act by any rampaging anti-democratic elements,” Mr. Fayose said.
“The embarrassing incidents currently playing out on our national judicial horizon, with several judicial officers, including serving Justices of the Supreme Court, enmeshed in simulated and orchestrated corruption scandals and indictments by agencies of the Federal Government because they had refused, at one time or the other, to serve the base interests of the ruling APC government in matters pending before their Lordships, have kept us wondering whether the Judiciary will succumb to these unwarranted harassments and intimidation meant to coerce it into submission and make
this very important and indispensable Third Estate of the Realm subservient to the arbitrary wishes, whims, and caprices of the Executive and political desperadoes.”
He said as a leading opposition figure in Nigeria, he had been very critical of the federal government.
Mr. Fayose expressed the hope that the judiciary under the leadership of Mr. Onnoghen, would remain apolitical.
The Ekiti State House of Assembly also joined the governor in raising his allegations.
The speaker of the assembly, Kola Oluwawole, on Wednesday said those calling for Mr. Fayose’s removal are “jesters and ignorant” of the provisions of the law of Nigeria.
The lawmaker was reacting to a statement credited to a group, the Coalition for Good Governance and Anti-Corruption, which in Abuja on Tuesday called for the removal of Governor Fayose from office.
He said the Constitution had listed the grounds for the removal of a governor, noting that there was no grounds for the recent call for the removal of the governor.
“Those that are behind this faceless group with their political masters should know that their agenda is dead on arrival and hence it’s an impossible mission clearly not in line with laid down procedures as established by the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Mr. Oluwawole stated.
In a response to Mr. Fayose’s claims, Mr. Fayemi’s Special Assistant, Yinka Oyebode, said he would rather not dignify the governor’s “rantings” with a response.
According to Mr. Oyebode, it is simply a case of the wicked running when no one pursues.
“It would appear, Governor Fayose wakes up daily in search of new controversies and making one spurious allegation after another,” he said.
“And it does not really matter to him whether such allegations are reasonable, logical or sensible.
“This allegation is not only irresponsible, it is quite unfair to the two former governors of the state.
“And one is not surprised at this, because under Fayose falsehood has been elevated to the level of statecraft, sustained by machinery of state.
“However, this is certainly a poorly contrived alibi for his ineptitude and apparent low capacity for the serious business of governance,” said Mr. Oyebode.