Alleged fraud: Court says Ekiti judicial panel can probe Fayemi

Kayode Fayemi

A High Court in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday held that the judicial panel set up by the state government to probe a former governor, Kayode Fayemi, and his administration, was lawfully and constitutionally set to do the investigations.

It said the legality of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by the state government to look into financial transactions of the state between 2010 and 2014 was not in doubt, adding that the state governor, Ayodele Fayose, has the powers to run the affairs of his state .

The court noted that the governor had exclusive rights to set up the commission of inquiry without the prompting of the House of Assembly and that he properly so acted.

It accordingly dismissed all other reliefs seeking to set aside and perpetually restrain the commission.

The presiding judge, Lekan Ogunmoye, while delivering the judgment in the suit filed by Mr. Fayemi against the commission of inquiry set up to investigate allegations of fraud against his administration, said Governor Fayose acted pursuant to Section 2 (1) of the Commission Inquiry Law Cap C10 Laws of Ekiti State.

He said the governor did not need to consult the House of Assembly or anyone before setting up the commission of inquiry.

The court however agreed that the State House of Assembly had no rights to direct the governor to set up the inquiry.

Governor Fayose had in May, this year, constituted a judicial panel, led by a former acting chief judge of the state, Silas Oyewole, to probe Mr. Fayemi’s administration between October 2010 and October 2014 over alleged financial misappropriation.

Mr. Fayemi had filed a suit No. HAD/57/2017, seeking an injunction to restrain the state government and the commission from going ahead with the exercise.

The minister had also alleged that all the members of the panel were the governor’s apologists, adding that there was no way the panel would be fair to him.

Reacting after the judgment, Mr. Fayemi’s counsel, Akingbade Ogunmoyela, said the court has agreed that the State House of Assembly has no right to direct the governor to set up the inquiry, saying it was of the opinion of the court based on the Ekiti Commission of Inquiry law that the governor has right to set the commission.

He said he wouldn’t know whether or not his client would appeal the judgment.

In his reaction, counsel to the state government, Sunday Ashana, said he was happy with the judgment because the court established that the governor has the right to set up the commission.

He stated that the state government acted in accordance with the law that set up the commission.

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