Fayose, deputy impeached
The new Governor of Ekiti State, Hon. Friday Aderemi (left) being sworn in by the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Jide Aladejana in Ado-Ekiti yesterday.
• Appointment of acting CJ unconstitutional –Justice Minister
The political power play in Ekiti State got to a head on Monday, with the impeachment of Governor Ayo Fayose and his deputy, Mrs Biodun Olujimi by the state lawmakers.
This is coming at a time the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Bayo Ojo, said that the appointment of an acting Chief Justice by the Ekiti State House of Assembly was unconstitutional, warning that the Federal Government would not tolerate a breakdown of law and order in Ekiti.
In the impeachment of Fayose, 24 of the 26 lawmakers, who deliberated on the report of the parallel seven man panel submitted to the House in the early hours of Monday, found the governor and his deputy guilty of all the financial allegations levelled against them.
The House, which commenced sitting around 8.10 am, after receiving the Ebenezer Omotoso-led panel report, had a five minutes break. Moving the motion after the brief break, the majority leader, Hon. Kayode Babade, citing sections 121 and 122 of the 1999 constitution, stated that against the backdrop of the panel report which found the governor and his deputy guilty of the allegations of financial indiscipline and abuse of office, the House had adopted the panel report.
Hon Babade, thereafter, moved a motion that both the governor and his deputy be impeached, while the motion was seconded by all the lawmakers at the same time.
The House also ratified the appointment of the acting Chief Judge, Justice Jide Aladejana, saying that his appointment would be endorsed as substantive Chief Judge by the new governor. After 42 minutes sitting, the house adjourned till Tuesday next week at about 12.48 pm. The Speaker, Hon. Friday Aderemi was sworn in as the new governor of the state by Justice Jide Aladejana to replace the impeached Mr. Fayose.
At the conference hall of the old governor’s office, where the swearing-in ceremony took place, the hall was filled to capacity with the traditional rulers led by the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe and other prominent Ekiti citizens in attendance.
The new governor, in his speech after the swearing-in, urged the people to rally round his administration which he called a corrective regime.
Aderemi noted that the impeachment of the former governor was a demonstration of the independence of the House of Assembly, saying it was obvious that the lawmakers in the state were not in support of any corrupt leader.
He warned those who might want to foment trouble to have a rethink of their stand, saying that law enforcement agencies were ready to deal with any anarchist.
Among the dignitaries present at the swearing-in ceremony are the state party chairman, Chief Ropo Adesanya; the former deputy governor to Fayose, Chief Abiodun Aluko, Senator Clement Awoyelu and the former chairman of Ado-Ekiti local government, Taye Fasubaa. Others are members of the House of Representatives, all the 23 out of 25 lawmakers and some traditional rulers.
In a related development, the former deputy governor of the state, Chief Abiodun Aluko had called on the state lawmakers to revisit his impeachment, saying the act was done wrongly. Chief Aluko, while speaking with reporters shortly after the swearing-in ceremony stated that the impeached governor wrongly informed the lawmakers about his activities, especially on the controversial state poultry project. He stated that he had been vindicated and truth had prevailed against falsehood of Fayose, adding that his case should be revisited and reconsidered in the interest of democracy and good governance.
Aluko called for immediate arrest and prosecution of the former governor, whom he said had fled after commiting unpardonable atrocities.
Meanwhile, the justice minister said that the appoitment of an acting CJ in Ekiti was unconstitutional. Speaking on NTA network news on Monday, he said that the constitution was clear on how to appoint a CJ. He warned that the Federal Government would not take kindly to anything that would lead to breakdown of law and order in Ekiti State.
Ojo said that since there is separation of powers among the arms of government, he expects the juduciary to take action, in its constituency, on what happened in Ekiti, while the other arms would take actions on the part that concerns them.