A former governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, has rejected the verdict of a High Court in Ekiti, which affirmed the legality of the Ekiti State Judicial Commission of Inquiry probing his tenure.
He also denounced the report of the commission submitted to the state government on Wednesday, which found him culpable in the misappropriation of over N2 billion state funds.
Mr. Fayemi said his lawyers had perfected their papers on the appeal of the judgment, saying the lower court’s decision would certainly be upturned.
Speaking on his behalf on Wednesday, Mr. Fayemi’s media aide, Yinka Oyedobe, told PREMIUM TIMES that not much was expected from the lower court, but the minister was hopeful that justice would be done at the appeal court.
“It is difficult to really comment on the report submitted by the commission to the state governor because the matter is in court, but it is a clear witch-hunt to smear the name of the former governor,” Oyebode said.
“We are going on appeal and I am sure the lawyers are perfecting the plans on that and we hope to get a better judgment from the appeal court.”
The commission of inquiry, led by a retired judge, Silas Oyewole, while submitting its report said that the former governor must account for the whereabouts of N2.75 billion allocated from the N25 billion bond obtained by the government for the execution of contract for the construction of Ultra-Modern market in Ado Ekiti, which was never executed.
The commission of inquiry also said that the contractor in respect of the furnishing of the government house built by the Fayemi administration should be made to refund N324.8 million, noting that the contract should not have been more than N280 million.
The panel said it found out that KITWOOD Nigeria Limited to which the furnishing contract of over N600 million was awarded had no traceable address and that “the address on the Letter of Award is a virgin land at opposite the new Central Bank along new Iyin Road, Ado Ekiti.”
On the purchase of vehicles, the panel said claims by Coscharis Motors that it supplied 235 and/or 250 vehicles was fraudulent and fraught with so many contradictions.
The report also noted that Coscharis Motors supplied some vehicles outside Ekiti State especially, at Ibadan Liaison office when Ekiti State Government does not have a Liaison office in Ibadan. In respect of this, seven vehicles were supplied outside the state and signed for by unknown persons.
“That Coscharis Motors only supplied 219 vehicles to the Ekiti State government and that 17 Joylong Buses were supplied to the Ekiti State Government as gift but later carted away.”
The commission however failed to confirm earlier claims that Mr. Fayemi made away with N852.9 million State Universal Education Board (SUBEB) funds, but observed that the government of Mr. Fayemi “hoodwinked the federal government into paying its own matching grant by obtaining N852, 936,783.12 loan from Access Bank on November 25, 2013 without perfecting documentation in respect of the loan, thereby flouting the provisions of Section 11(2) of the UBEC Act, 2004.”
After receiving the report, the state governor, Ayo Fayose, said asking people to account for their stewardship should not be termed witch hunting.
He said leaders must be accountable and that Ekiti people had the inalienable right to know how their commonwealth was being used.