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Fayose arrested at Idi-Iroko border - Now in SSS custody, to face trial, Speaker sworn in as acting gov

Posted by Nigerian Tribune on 2006/10/18 | Views: 710 |

Fayose arrested at Idi-Iroko border - Now in SSS custody, to face trial, Speaker sworn in as acting gov


FLEEING Ekiti State governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, was reportedly arrested on Monday by a combined team of Customs men and operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) at the popular Idi-Iroko border on his way to the Republic of Benin.

FLEEING Ekiti State governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, was reportedly arrested on Monday by a combined team of Customs men and operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) at the popular Idi-Iroko border on his way to the Republic of Benin.

A competent security source told the Nigerian Tribune in confidence that the impeached governor had been moved to the headquarters of the Department of SSS, otherwise known as "Yellow House", in Abuja.

The source revealed that Fayose was brought into the SSS headquarters around 4:00 p.m. in a station wagon Peugeot 504 belonging to the SSS with a back up vehicle belonging to the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) accompanied by officials of both services.

As at press time, the former governor was reportedly undergoing interrogation at one of the offices of the SSS. The former governor reportedly sneaked out of Ado-Ekiti under the pretext that he was going for a vigil in Ibadan, Oyo State, on Saturday.

President Olusegun Obasanjo was said to have directed the Director-General of the SSS, Col. Kayode Are (rtd), the leadership of the Nigerian Customs, the Immigration Services, and the police to launch a manhunt for the governor and track him down when he (Obasanjo) was informed that his whereabouts were not known.

It was gathered that the President specifically directed the agencies to focus their attention mainly on the nationís borders, air and seaports to prevent Fayose from fleeing the country. Consequently, the agencies were said to have gone into action which eventually led to the arrest of Fayose at the border.

When contacted twice, the spokesman of the SSS, Mr. Ado Muazu, said he did not have the information on the matter as at press time.

Fayose to face trial - EFCC Fayose will be made to face the full wrath of law over his alleged misconduct in office. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which accused him of corruption, said this on Monday in Abuja.

Speaking at a programme entitled "Fix Nigeria Initiative", the commissionís executive chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, stated that the news of Fayoseís removal gladdened the heart of the commission.

Disclosing that justice would be allowed to take its course on the matter, Ribadu added that immunity would not be a guarantee for any public office holder again.

"His (Fayose) impeachment is good for our country. We clearly have a case against him. We will not jump over and start running after him. We will wait and allow justice to take its course.

"We will do things properly and according to the rules. I can assure you we are extremely happy that for the first time, there is no hiding place for corrupt persons.

"If you have done bad things, donít expect the law to protect you. We have got to a stage where impunity and immunity do not work anymore", he said.

Jubilation in Ekiti IT was jubilation galore in Ekiti yesterday as indigenes of the state from all the 16 local government areas thronged the state capital to express their support to the lawmakers on the impeachment of the governor.

After the impeachment, which was carried out at about 9.15 a.m., masquerades, blindmen, physically challenged, widows, students, civil servants and market women trooped out to celebrate the impeachment of the governor.

The impeachment exercise of the governor was carried out at 9.07 a.m., while that of his deputy was carried out at 9.15 a.m and the honourable members commenced sitting by 8.30a.m after the arrival of the speaker, who was at the assembly conference hall to receive the report of the Dele Omotosho panel of investigation into the alleged gross misconduct against the governor and his deputy.

The impeachment motion of the removal of the governor was led by the Majority Leader of the House, Honourable Kayode Babade and passed by 24 members, while that of the deputyís motion was passed with one abstaining, one against and 22 in support.

After that, a motion was moved by the Majority Leader of the House, Mr Babade (Ikere I, PDP), who pleaded with the assembly to set aside its order 14 (1), which made it mandatory for the assembly to sit only from Monday to Thursday, between the hours of 10am and 1.00pm and was seconded by Mr Lekan Osasona {Moba I, PDP]. It was, however, unanimously supported by the legislators and passed to enable the legislators decide the fate of

Fayose and Olujimi. At about 8.56 a.m., another motion was moved by the Majority Leader urging the assembly to accept and adopt the report of the panel. The motion, seconded by Mr Bunmi Olugbade (Ekiti South West I, PDP), was unanimously passed.

At about 8.58 am, the lawmaker moved the motion for the removal of Fayose having found him guilty of the eight-count allegations of gross misconduct as reported by the panel. The motion was accepted by the legislators and was seconded by Mr Olusola Omolayo (Ikole II, PDP).

At 9.08 a.m., the speaker of the House, Chief Friday Aderemi, who presided over the session where one legislator abstained, hit his table with the gavel and ordered that Mr. Fayose should be impeached.

Also, the impeachment move for the removal of the deputy governor came to reality at about 9.09 a.m. when she was said to have been found guilty of the allegations levelled against her. Her removal motion was also seconded by Mr Deji Akinola [Ilejemeje PDP].

The lawmakers further moved a motion that the state account should be defrozen as the new governor has come to stay in the state. Mr Gbadebo Ibuoye [Ekiti West II, PDP] seconded the motion. It was unanimously passed by the legislators.

Earlier, the speaker of the house, Chief Aderemi, had been presented with the report of the Dele Omotosho panel set up to investigate the gross misconduct of both the governor and his deputy at the assembly conference room and the reports indicted

the duo for the allegation levelled against them. The speaker commended the committee for a job well done and prayed that God would intervene in their affairs.

He praised the panel for a thorough job, saying that the people of the state would be forever be grateful to the members for taking up the assignment not minding the attacks on their persons by those who did not wish the state any good.

Nigerian Tribune investigations revealed that the Majority Leader, Mr Babade, was likely to be picked as the new speaker while the deputy speaker, Mr Olatunbosun Taiwo, who refused to sign the impeachment notice against Fayose and Olujimi, was likely to be replaced today.

But the impeached governor, through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi, said that his removal was illegal and added that the victory being celebrated by the administration enemies was a victory for illegality.

"We view the impeachment as victory for illegality, rape on the rule of law, introduction of totalitarianism. What Fayose has spent three and a half years doing at transforming the state through provision of infrastructure, regular payment of workers salaries and entitlements, reforming the civil service, providing hope to the downtrodden in the state, even the prisons and hospital inmates, the widows will certainly remain a legacy.

"Whether Fayose deserved what he got in return, time will tell. Man may have passed his judgement, but Godís judgement is the final. We are appealing to numerous supporters and admirers of Governor Fayose within and outside the state to remain calm and be law abiding. Donít take to violence, the battle is of the Lord."

Speaker sworn in as Acting Gov AFTER the removal of the governor and his deputy, the Majority Leader, who quoted Section 191:1-2, moved a motion before the House and passed a resolution that the Speaker should take over from the former governor. The motion was seconded by Mr. Segun Ola (Ado-Ekiti 1).

Supporting his motion, the Majority Leader quoted the section which he said "empowers the Speaker to act in the absence of the governor and his deputy". He added that the same section also directed the state acting Chief Judge, Justice Jide Aladejana, to swear in Chief Friday Aderemi as the acting governor of the state for a period not more than three months

With this, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Chief Aderemi, was eventually sworn in as the acting governor of the state. The swearing-in ceremony, conducted amid tight security at the conference hall of the old governorís office, was conducted by Justice Aladejana.

The brief ceremony started at about 12.48 p.m. with the arrival of the acting governor. Security operatives had a hectic day in controlling the crowd as hundreds of the residents trooped out to witness the swearing-in ceremony.

The people went into jubilation following the arrival of the acting governor as they sang various songs to usher in a new dawn in the state. Speaking after his swearing-in, Aderemi lamented that the state had in the last few months gone through uncertainties and trauma.

He, however, said that the decision to impeach the former governor and his deputy was in the interest of the state. He also said that members of the House followed the due process in the events that led to the removal of the governor.

According to him, the impeachment had demonstrated the independence of the legislative arm. The swearing-in-ceremony was attended by the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe; the Onijan of Ijan-Ekiti, Oba Samuel Fadahunsi; the former deputy governor of the state, Chief Abiodun Aluko; Senator Clement Awoyelu, the Peoples Democratic Party chairman in the state, Chief Ropo Adesanya, among others.

Olujimiís impeachment shocking - PDP The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday reportedly received the impeachment of Olujimi along with Fayose with surprise and shock.

Nigerian Tribune learnt that the leadership of the party was worried over the problem the action of the lawmakers would create for the party, moreso that the 2007 general elections are fast approaching. It was gathered that the thinking of the leadership and that of the presidency was that the lawmakers would spare Mrs. Olujimi to enable her hold on to the state till the 2007 general elections.

It was reportedly the thinking of the president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and the leadership of the party that Mrs. Olujimi would have held the state for the PDP while the party undergoes reconciliation and restructuring to put it in strong position to face the next elections.

Party leaders, according to findings, believed that the tenure of the former governor did not leave the party in good standing in the eyes of Ekiti people.

The fear of the party leadership was that the period between now and the January when a bye-election was expected in the state would not be adequate to reposition the party.

"We are worried about the development in Ekiti State, both Fayose and his deputy have been sent packing, it has never happened in the country. The party is in a fix, how are we going to do it? We can as well forget Ekiti State because the people will support the opposition against us based on the situation on ground," the source declared.

When contacted about the development in Ekiti and the position of the party, its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. John Odey, said that the state chapter of the party was yet to brief the national secretariat on the situation in the state.

Few hours after the impeachment, stakeholders meeting on the way forward in Ekiti State was held at the partyís secretariat with a pledge to all members of the party to re-unite and work out modalities that would make the party a pace-setting one.

The chieftains of the party, who attributed the backwardness of the party in the state to the impeached governor of the state, appealed to members wherever they might be to come back home and rebuild the party.

They charged them to bury their differences and work together for the progress of the party, saying with cooperation and mutual understanding, the sky would be the limit of the party.

In another development, the former deputy governor, Mrs. Olujimi, in a release, said she was aware of the charade going on in the state and the action of the House of Assembly that went against the constitution and the letter from the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

She argued that Aladejana had no locus standi to parade himself as the acting chief judge of the state. Olujimi stressed that she remained the deputy governor by her oath of office and the constitution of the country, saying the public should know that what had been done was of no effect and could not stand. She maintained that nobody could force her out of the governorís office.

Meanwhile, an Ado-Ekiti high court, in its ruling on an exparte motion brought before it by the impeached deputy governor, has ordered that the defendants in the suit should be put on notice.

The judge, Justice E.O. Kowe, urged all parties in the suit to maintain the status quo while adjourning the hearing of the motion till tomorrow.

Also, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State has tendered an apology to the people of the state for offering them Fayose. The party said the removal of the governor and his deputy was a sign of the supremacy of the will of the masses.

The position of the party was made known by the two former chairmen of the party, Senator Clement Awoyelu and Chief Samuel Agunbiade and the incumbent chairman, Chief Ropo Adesanya.

The three party leaders told journalists at the party secretariat after the swearing-in of Aderemi that the party would not make such a mistake again.

Gani, Gbonigi others react Former Bishop of Akure Diocese (Anglican Communion), Right Reverend Emmanuel Gbonigi, has said that he was not surprised that Governor Fayose and his deputy were impeached.

Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune on Monday, the cleric said it was obvious that Fayose would not complete his term as the governor of the state.

He said it was a shame that somebody in the character of the governor was allowed to emerge. According to him, Fayose was morally deficient to be elected a governor of the state in the country.

"He is not worthy to be governor and I am surprised that he could be elected as governor of a state like Ekiti, he said. Lagos lawyer, Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN), has described the impeachment as a welcome development, saying it was a better way to get at corrupt governors who he said abound in the country.

Speaking on phone, the human rights activist said the irregularity noted by the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Alfa Belgore, in the setting up of the committee that investigated the governor by the Ekiti State acting Chief Judge, Jide Aladejana, could be corrected by regularising the appointment of Aladejana, while the suspended Chief Judge, Justice Kayode Bamishile, could retire and take his full benefits.

He observed that the irregularities noted could not make the lawmakers to turn back the hand of the clock and that the unconstitutionality can be regularised.

"I support the impeachment because there was no way he could be removed because of the immunity in Section 308 of the constitution. Immunity is gone, he should be tried for the offences he has committed, should be arrested and tried".

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Chief Ojo Falegan, stated that "Fayose deserved to be impeached, considering a series of atrocities allegedly committed by the former governor.

Chief Falegan, who was one of the founders of PDP in the state, however, urged the acting governor to learn from the mistakes of the Fayose. Senators spoken to by the Nigerian Tribune on Monday backed the decision of the House of Assembly.

Senator James Kolawole, an Alliance for Democracy Senator representing Ekiti North Senatorial District, said that the people of the state were happy with the development.

Senator Hosea Ehinlawo, a PDP senator representing Ondo South Senatorial District, said that the letter written by the Chief Justice of the Nigeria (CJN), Justice Alfa Belgore, nullifying the suspension of the Chief Judge of Ekiti State was hasty.

"The CJN would have waited until the mater comes before him. It was done in a rush. He is an individual, the matter can be challenged by anybody," Ehinlawo said.

Fayoseís removal illegal - FG Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN), has described the removal of the Chief Judge of Ekiti State, Justice Kayode Bamisile, by the House of Assembly as illegal and unconstitutional.

Speaking on the NTA Network News, Chief Ojo said that the purported suspension of the chief judge and appointment of an acting chief judge was an unusual scenario which contradicted Section 721 of 1999 Constitution.

He maintained that the Federal Government would not fold its hands and allow democracy to be derailed. He stressed that the process of appointing Justice Aladejana as the acting chief judge of the state was crude, barbaric and unconstitutional, adding that any action taken by the said acting chief judge was also illegal and unconstitutional.

He, however, warned that any attempt by any individual or group of people to disturb the peace of the state would be resisted by the Federal Government.

Impeachment illegal - Govs Governor Lucky Igbinedion of Edo State has described the impeachment as illegal and unconstitutional.

Speaking on behalf of the Governors Forum in Abuja, Igbinedion said that "we will not allow him (the acting governor) into the Governors Forum. We will not recognise him. We will not allow him to be part of us. We have left it for the appropriate authorities to decide."

Chief Ahmadu Alli, the PDP chairman, also condemned the impeachment, saying "it is not in our policy to be impeaching our governors. We are not happy about it."

Meanwhile, more reactions continued to trail yesterdayís removal of Fayose and Olujimi as two members of the House of Representatives from the state said the impeachment of the duo was a good way to say bye-bye to dictatorship.

According to Honourables. Yemi Arokodare and Duro Faseyi, who spoke with the Nigerian Tribune on phone, the exit of the Fayose and his deputy was a welcome development, noting that a new dawn had been ushered in Ekiti.

Arokodare argued that it would now be clear to every Nigerian that the integrity, honour and pride of Ekiti as educationally advanced people had been restored, saying he was proud to be part of that change which took place yesterday in the state.

Speaking in the same vein, Hon. Faseyi expressed appreciation to God and President Obasanjo for the change which the state had just witnessed, explaining that he and his other colleague who rooted for change in Ekiti were not seeking any office or doing so for selfish reasons. "

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