The governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, has described as “mischief” the claim by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Adewale Omirin, that his (Mr. Omirin’s) filling station was sealed for political reasons.
The governor had on Tuesday ordered the immediate closure of the petrol station, T5 Petrol Station, owned by the Speaker, alongside three other stations.
Mr. Omirin, a member of the All progressives Congress, APC, in a statement by his media aide, Wole Olujobi, had interpreted Mr. Fayose’s action as political intimidation and coercion.
He alleged that the governor ordered the closure of the station because he refused to join Mr. Fayose’s party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The House commenced one month recess a few days after Mr. Fayose was sworn in.
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Information and Social Media, Lere Olayinka, on Thursday, the governor said Mr. Omirin’s response was the height of mischief and misrepresentation of facts.
The statement argued that as a public office holder, “The speaker does not have legal rights to own private business, and one wonders how someone prohibited by law to own private business while in office can be said to be the owner of a filling station that is under construction.”
The governor also said contrary to the claim by the speaker and the APC, apart from T5 Petrol Station in the Ajilosun area in Ado-Ekiti, three other petrol stations were similarly shut down for contravening environmental laws.
The statement listed the other stations to include INIS Integrated Services located along Iworoko Road, Ado-Ekiti, belonging to Churchill Adedipe; NIPCO Petrol Station (Morolu Global Services), Isato-Oke in Ado-Ekiti, belonging to one Mr. Oloko, and PHENROSE Limited, Ajilosun in Ado-Ekiti, owned by Mr Gilbert Igweka.
The statement advised Mr. Omirin to tread softly so as to prevent himself from being pushed into perdition.
He argued that Code 2 (b) of the Code of Conduct Act prohibits public office holders like the Speaker from participating in management or running of any private business, profession or trade.
“Therefore, those making noise in the media that Dr. Omirin owns a filling station are only trying to throw him inside the web of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, and the noisemakers won’t be available to help him out of the mess they would have put him,” the statement said.
“Four filling stations were sealed-up and one of them belong to an Ibo man. Are they also saying that the Ibo man is a politician and being coerced by the governor?
“Are they also saying that Mr Oloko, the owner of NIPCO Petrol Station (Morolu Global Services) is a member of the APC and a serving member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly?”
The statement urged the leaders of the APC, especially the immediate past governor, Kayode Fayemi and Bola Tinubu, who is a former governor of Lagos state to accept their fate and let peace reign in Ekiti State.