Ekiti Probe: Fayemi refuses to appear, insists panel in contempt of court

Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Mining and Steel Development
Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Mining and Steel Development

A former governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, has again insisted that he will not appear before the Ekiti State Judicial Commission of Inquiry which was set up to investigate his administration between 2010 and 2014.

Mr. Fayemi, the current Minister of Mines and Steel Development, also restated his stance to the panel that it its continued sitting was in contempt of the court.

His counsel, Rafiu Balogun, who appeared before the panel on Friday, said his client would not not appear before the panel.

Mr. Balogun appeared on Friday for the adoption of his application filed on September 12, excusing Mr. Fayemi from the proceedings.

He also asked the panel to stay further proceeding on the matter and that Mr. Fayemi should be excused from appearing.

But the counsel to the panel, Sunday Bamise, argued that Mr. Fayemi’s counsel could not bring an oral submission of his brief of argument but must file a written address in order to save time.

But Mr. Balogun countered Mr. Bamise’s argument, by urging the panel to compel its counsel to file his written address promising to file his reply afterwards.

Mr. Balogun also urged the panel to allow him file his reply on the appearance of the Commissioner of Finance and Economic Development during the administration of Fayemi, Dapo Kolawole, who was also summoned by the panel to appear before it and to give evidence.

The matter was adjourned to September 18 as Mr. Bamise sought the plea of the panel to enable him call his witnesses from the state Ministries of Agriculture and Information to give evidence on issues affecting them.

The panel adjourned to the said date for exchange of written addresses
by parties involved.

Mr. Balogun later told journalists that Mr. Fayemi would not appear before the panel because he had filed three cases now pending in court challenging the constitution of the panel.

The cases were filed before the Federal High Court, Ado-Ekiti; Ekiti State High Court, Ado-Ekiti; and High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on the matters that concern the terms of reference of the panel.

Mr. Balogun described the resolution passed by the Ekiti State House of assembly empowering Governor Ayo Fayose to set up the panel as an aberration and a deliberate contempt of the pendency of the suits filed against the state parliament.

The lawyer further stressed that the action negated the Standing Rules of the Ekiti State House of Assembly which forbids discussion of matters pending before the court of law.

Mr. Balogun further clarified that he appeared before the panel to file stay of proceeding on the matter or his client be excused from appearing before the panel if they declined his prayers.

He pointed out that he was compelled to institute another legal action before the State High Court against Mr. Fayose, the chairman of the panel, Justice Oyewole and six other members of the jury challenging the legality of the body on diverse grounds including the pendency of the cases.


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