May 31, 2014
By Latti Ogunmadewa
This question of whether Mr Ayo Fayose is qualified to contest for Governorship election in Ekiti where he had earlier been Governor under controversial circumstances has been raised by analysts in several fora . The Nigerian constitution states the Qualification for Governorship in Sec.182. The PDP took a great risk albeit an unpardonable one to present a candidate with so much moral and legal baggages in such a critical election when there were other competent and credible alternatives available. Fayose was impeached as Governor of Ekiti state in 2006 after a panel constituted by the Chief Judge had found him indicted on fraud related offences as reported to the House by EFCC.
A careful reading of S 182(e) and(i) of the Nigerian Constitution will give a proper ‘ caveat emptor’ or constructive notice of the risks involved in presenting a character like Fayose for an election apart from several moral debilities which are still fresh in the memories of Ekiti people!
“S 182. (1) No person shall be qualified for election to the office of Governor of a State if –
(a) subject to the provisions of section 28 of this Constitution, he has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a country other than Nigeria or, except in such cases as may be prescribed by the National Assembly, he has made a declaration of allegiance to such other country; or
(b) he has been elected to such office at any two previous elections; or
(c) under the law in any part of Nigeria, he is adjudged to be a lunatic or otherwise declared to be of unsound mind; or
(d) he is under a sentence of death imposed by any competent court of law or tribunal in Nigeria or a sentence of imprisonment for any offence involving dishonesty or fraud (by whatever name called) or any other offence imposed on him by any court or tribunal or constituted by a competent authority for any other sentence imposed on him by such a court or tribunal; or
(e) within a period of less than ten years before the date of election to the office of Governor of a State he has been convicted and sentenced for an offence involving dishonesty or he has been found guilty of the contravention of the code of Conduct; or
(f) he is an undischarged bankrupt, having been adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt under any law in force in Nigeria; or
(g) being a person employed in the public service of the Federation or of any State, he has not resigned, withdrawn or retired from the employment at least thirty days to the date of the election; or
(h) he is a member of any secret society; or
(i) he has been indicted for embezzlement or fraud by a Judicial Commission of Inquiry or an Administrative Panel of Inquiry or a Tribunal set up under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act, a Tribunals of Inquiry Law or any other law by the Federal or State Government which indictment has been accepted by the Federal or State Government; or
(j) he has presented a forged certificate to the independent National Electoral Commission………”
Curiously in his present contest, Fayose is no longer ebullient about his HND qualification from the Polytechnic Ibadan which was hotly challenged by some alumni and media organizations.A lot of drama ensued as the authorities of the Polytechnic somersaulted in first denying and later accepting he was their graduate. This time Fayose has allegedly played safe by claiming only his School Certificate in his INEC form. Afterall this is the minimum educational qualification in the Constitution. Is this an indication of forgery of earlier qualification or a denial of it?
There are some analysts who belief that Fayose hoodwinked the leadership of his party to take the slot believing that he would thereafter upon winning the election be clothed with immunity. That would effectively frustrate his on going trial for humongous fraud during his first tenure and others like the Murder trial for killing of one Omojola in Ifaki which was suspended for Fayose”s being at “large”
It would be seen in no distant future whether a state of intellectuals such that has been described as land of knowledge and honour could harbor yet again such personality at its highest level of governance. In some circles,the re emergence of Fayose is seen as Jonathan ‘s curious display of disdain for the people of Ekiti and it’s cherished values .Ekiti people thus has the next election to prove whether those values have survived the battering of politics and economic downturn.Some have argued that anything can happen in politics particularly in the state of poverty that many of the electorates are. A large percentage of the voters are unemployed young graduates, pauperized adults,okada riders,artisans and peasants who could be energized even against their collective future by few wads of naira currency. Much more is the fact that we are such a forgetful people with short memories.We are such a generation that has infinite capacity to forget our past such that our negative history keeps repeating itself in confounding regularity. This is the tragedy of African democracy.But this doesn’t make PDP- and it’s leadership -a party of such huge prime position in the politics of Nigeria shine in the sun. The party ought to be at the fore front of gradual clean up of our politics,enhancing integrity and sanity in our democracy.Sadly it has not.
No doubt the lack luster performance of the current Government in Ekiti has opened a window for the PDP which during the tenure of former Governor Segun Oni raised the bar of Performance and good governance and thus a formidable structure to climb upon.Sadly this opportunity seemed already frittered.
It is worrisome however that the intellectual and integrity gate keepers of Ekiti are either asleep or their voices have become muffled by personal considerations or economic realities.This is a sad commentary on a state that has produced world class giants like chief Afe Babalola SAN,Ayo Ogunlade,profs Ade Ajayi,Sam Aluko,Osuntokun, Banji Akintoye,Lola Borisade, Tunde Adeniran. Or is this not the state of Prince Adelusi Adeluyi, Ayo Ajayi former MD UAC,Gbenga Oyebode Chairman Access Bank,Wole Olanipekun SAN ?to mention but a few.Ekiti state presents a paradox albeit, a potent lesson of how not to leave politics in the hands of the dregs of the society.
Our collective value is depreciated in the process.
* Ogunmadewa a scholar writes from Middlessex,England.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Below is the said Investigative Panel Reports upon which the Governor and his Deputy Governor were impeached by the Ekiti State House of Assembly.
REPORT OF THE INVESTIGATION PANEL OF SEVEN PERSONS APPOINTED BY HONOURABLE JUSTICE JUBRILL B.K. ALADEJANA ON THE ALLEGATIONS OF ACTS OF GROSS MISCOUNDUCT LEVELED AGAINST THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF EKITI STATE. DR. AYODELE FAYOSE DATED 16TH DAY OF OCTOBER 2006
Report of the Report of the investigation panel of seven persons appointed by Honourable Justice Jubrill B.K. Aladejana on the allegations of acts of gross misconduct leveled against the Executive Governor of Ekiti State – Dr. Ayodele Fayose.
Introduction: Pursuant to section 188 (5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, this panel of seven persons was set up by Honourable Justice Jubril B.K. Aladejana on Friday, 13th October 2006.
The seven persons are:
1. Mr. Emmanuel Bamidele Omotoso Chairman
2. Deacon Olajubu Solomon Owoeye Member
3. Eng. Ismail Olowolafe Dayisi Member
4. Mr. Kayode Failani Member
5. Pastor (Mrs) Funmi Adeniyi Member
6. Rev. Father Anthony Oluwole Ijasan Member
7. Major J. O. Odusina (Rtd) Member
Venue: Ekiti State House of Assembly Complex Ado-Ekiti
Rules of procedure: Pursuant to section 188, subsection 7(a) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 the Ekiti State House of Assembly prescribed the Rules of procedure which are 23 in number, hereinafter referred to as “the Rules”.
This panel in compliance with section 188 (7) (a) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 exercised its powers and functions in accordance with the Rules.
Notices: Notices of sittings duly signed by the Chairman of the Panel were dispatched to all the parties concerned viz:-
(i) The Speaker of the House,
(ii) The Executive Governor of Ekiti State – Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose and
(iii) The Deputy Governor of Ekiti State – Chief (Mrs.) Abiodun Olujimi.
Commencement of sittings: Relying on rule 4 of the Rules, the Panel commenced its sitting on 13th October, 2006 at 10.30a.m.
Attendance: The legal Representatives of the House of Assembly and Deputy of Governor of Ekiti State Rowland Otaru, SAN, with Gboyega Oyewole, Tayo Aluko, Akintude Esan, and Joseph Omodele Adewumi Esquire respectively.
Absent: The Executive Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose and his legal representative were absent.
Witnesses: Ekiti State House of Assembly called three witnesses and closed its case. The witnesses were viz:-
(a) M.P. Ogele, Esquire, a private legal practitioner and National Coordinator of Ekiti State Equity, Justice and Peace Movement.
(b) Abubakar Aliyu Madaki, Deputy Superintendent of Police attached to Economic and Financial Crimes commission. (EFCC).
(c) Mr. Gbenga James, Managing Director, Biological Concepts Limited, Afao-Ekiti, Ekiti State and Avian Specialties Nigeria Limited, a close friend of Dr. Ayodele Fayose.
These witnesses were cross-examined by the legal representative of Her Excellency, Chief (Mrs.) Abiodun Olujimi.
The Executive Governor – Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose and his witnesses failed to appear before the panel but forwarded his response to the 7 allegations of gross misconduct against him. The Deputy Gov., Chief (Mrs) Abiodun Olujimi called no witness. Her legal representative rested her case on the House of Assembly.
Addresses: Learned counsel to the Deputy Governor Joseph Omodele Adewumi Esquire addressed the panel followed by learned counsel to the House of Assembly, Rowland Otaru, SAN, with Gboyega Oyewole, Tayo Aluko and Akintunde Esan.
Close of proceedings: After the addresses of the aforesaid learned counsel, the proceedings of the panel was declared closed on 14th day of October, 2006, when it became obvious that the Governor of Ekiti State – Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose would not attend the panel sittings.
Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose, The Executive Governor of Ekiti State.
After careful consideration of the evidence of the witnesses for the Ekiti State House of Assembly which was unchallenged by the Executive Governor, the panel hereby reports thus:-
Illegal Operation of Foreign Accounts contrary to paragraph 3 of the Code of Conduct for public officers to wit.
Operation of foreign account with the Bank of Africa, United State of America with VISA CREDIT NO 45397806 and 28083056 valid until August, 2007, contrary to the provisions of paragraph 3 of the Code of conduct for Public Officers.
Evidence: Olatunji Adegoke, Personal Assistant to the Executive Governor, Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose in whose custody the credit card No. 45397806 was found made confessional written statement to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission on 24th day of July 2006 to the effect that the aforesaid credit card belonged to Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose. The statement was tendered in evidence by EFCC representative. A copy of the Visa credit of the Bank of America U.S.A. valid until August 28 with the signature of the Executive Governor, Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose, was also received in evidence. The evidence was unchallenged.
Illegal Operation of Foreign Account Contrary to paragraph 3 of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers to wit:
Operation of Foreign accounts Nos: 50633925, 60642924 and 808909594 kept with Barclays Bank Plc. 38, Hans Crescent Knightsbridge, London, SWL XOLZ contrary to paragraph 3 of the Code of Conduct for public officers.
Evidence: The EFCC tendered a copy of the Premier Bank Account of Barclays Bank Plc, 38 Hans Crescent Knightsbridge, London with account No 50633925 and Account Name Mr. Ayodele Fayose and same was received in evidence. This evidence was unchallenged.
Illegal diversion of Local Government Funds contrary to Section 162 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
Diversion from the Ekiti State Joint Local Government Account the sum of N11.7 Billion received from the Federation Account from January 2004 to June 2006.
There are overwhelming evidence to the effect that various sums of money from the Ekiti State Joint Local Government Account were diverted to illegal quarters. The evidence were uncontroverted.
Receipt of illegal gifts contrary to paragraph 6 of the Code of Conduct to wit:
Receipt of the sum of ₤37,000.00 (Thirty Seven Thousand Pounds sterling only) from the Biological Concepts Ltd. Knowing it to be the proceeds of the Poultry Project embarked upon by the State Government.
Mr. Gbenga James, The Managing Director of Biological Concepts Ltd. Gave evidence before the Panel that out of the money for the Integrated Poultry Project he gave ₤37,000 (Thirty Seven Thousand Pounds sterling) to Adegoke Olatunji the Personal Assistant to the Executive Governor, Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose on the instruction of the Executive Governor.
Receipt of the illegal gift contrary to paragraph 6 of the Code of Conduct to wit:-
Receipt of a house lying and being at 10 Kobiowu Crescent, Iyaganku, GRA, Ibadan Oyo State valued at over N40 million built from the proceeds of the poultry project.
Evidence was led by the prosecution to show that there was an agreement between Mr. Gbenga James, the Managing Director of both Biological Concepts Ltd. and Avian Specialties Ltd. And the Governor to build a building worth 40 million at Ibadan from the proceeds earmarked by the State Government for the poultry project.
Mr. Gbenga James gave evidence that the building drawn by Grid Associates was actually built at 10 Kobiowu Crescent, Iyaganku G.R.A. Ibadan, Oyo State valued N40 million being part of the money earmarked by the State Government for the poultry project.
The building plan of the said building was tendered through Mr. Gbenga James by the prosecution.
Various documents to corroborate this evidence were tendered and received in evidence.
Receipt of illegal gifts of two houses contrary to paragraph 6 of the Code of Conduct to wit:-
i. Property lying and being at 23, Ring Road Restaurant Street, Behind Total Petrol Station, Iyaganku, GRA, Ibadan, Oyo State valued at about N20 million built from the proceeds of the contracts of Ekiti State Governor’s Office awarded to Grid Associates headed by Abiodun Fari-Arole.
ii. Property lying and being at Are Road, Afao-Ekiti State valued at about N25 million built from the proceeds of the contracts for Fountain Hotel awarded to Grid Associates headed by Abiodun Fari-Arole.
iii.The sum of N42 Million collected from Mr. Abiodun Fari-Arole of Grid Associates through Mr. Ayobola Abiola, then of the Standard Trust Bank Plc, now with FCMB Plc, Dugbe Branch being proceeds of the contract for Fountain Hotel and Governor’s Office.
This allegation was substantiated with unchallenged oral documentary evidence tendered by the EFCC and Mr. Gbenga James, the Managing Director of Biologicawl Concept Ltd. and Avian specialties Ltd.
Illegal transfer of the sum of $100,000 to the United State of American contrary to the money laundering act 2004.
Transfer of the sum of $100,000 to the United State of America on 20th August, 2004 through Account No 45703770 of City Bank, 244, Mani Street, White Palms NY 10601 belonging to Mr. Toney Orubuloye contrary to the money laundering Act, 2004.
The EFCC representative gave evidence that Abiola Ayobola of Zonal Head-West First City Merchant Bank Ibadan transferred a sum of $100,000 dollars to the United States of America on 20th August 2004 through account No 45703770 of City Bank, 244, Mani Street, White Palms NY 10601 belonging to Mr. Toney Orubuloye for the benefit of His Excellency Governor Ayo Fayose and personal staff who reportedly ran out of cash in United State of America.
This evidence was unchallenged.
In view of the available evidence before the Panel, the Panel came to the conclusion that all the aforementioned allegations of acts of gross misconduct against the Executive Governor of Ekiti State. Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose have been proved.