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Ekiti deputy governor relocates to Abuja

Posted by By Adesina Wahab, Femi Makinde,and Jude Owuamanam on 2006/10/11 | Views: 694 |

Ekiti deputy governor relocates to Abuja

Indications emerged on Tuesday that the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Mrs. Abiodun Olujimi, may have relocated to Abuja.

Indications emerged on Tuesday that the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Mrs. Abiodun Olujimi, may have relocated to Abuja.

Investigations by our correspondents showed that Olujimi left Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, on Tuesday morning under the guise of going to Abuja for an urgent assignment.

A source, however, said she shifted base pending the removal of Governor Ayo Fayose.

The source added that the Presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party had reached a consensus that Olujimi should take over from Fayose.

As part of soft-landing for the deputy governor, it was learnt that the investigative panel would give her a clean bill of health because the allegations against her were not substantial.

Another source claimed that the deputy governor went to Abuja for interaction with the State Security Service.

He said, She was invited for questioning over some issues. She will go back to Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday (today).

The SSS interaction with the deputy governor will be part of a security dossier being prepared for the Presidency by the security agency.

As at press time, on Tuesday, the deputy governor was still holed up at a secret location in Abuja.

Early on Tuesday, the State House of Assembly demanded the disbandment of the seven-man panel constituted by the Chief Judge, Justice Kayode Bamisile, to investigate the allegations of wrongdoing against Fayose and Olujimi.

But Bamisile, who inaugurated the panel in Ado-Ekiti, described the Assembly members as jokers.

Signs that the lawmakers would openly kick against the panels inauguration emerged a few minutes to 10am, when the Speaker, Chief Friday Aderemi, breezed into the High Court Complex, in a convoy of three cars.

Aderemi went straight to the office of the CJ and came out some minutes later to speak with the counsel to the Assembly, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN).

He told Fagbemi that he came with two letters in which the Assembly expressed its opposition to the membership of the panel and its inauguration

The speaker said, I shook his hand and told him my mission and he replied that he will not attend to me until he finishes the inauguration of the panel. I then told him that since my mission had to do with the panel, he needed to listen to me, but he refused.

After meeting with some aides, the speaker went to the venue of the inauguration and took a seat.

When the ceremony started, Aderemi moved to the front to hand over the letters to the CJ and then left.

He later told journalists that Bamisiles action was unacceptable.

The speaker said, The CJ ought to stop the ceremony. The panel is made up of the cronies of the governor. The chairman is from Erio-Ekiti, the hometown of the governors wife. Three of the members are contractors to the state government.

One who is a retired permanent secretary, left the service barely three months ago and was asked to refund some money to the coffers of the government as a result of official misconduct. Another is a friend of the wife of the governor. Some of the members dont even have a means of livelihood.They are living on the charity of the governor.

We asked the CJ to stop the panel. In the first instance, we are the ones who asked him to constitute a panel and we are asking him to stop. If we did not ask him to set up a panel in the first place, will he set up any?

It is clear, if I give you money to go and buy me something and while you are set to take off, I say give me back my money. If you go ahead, then you are on your own.

If the CJ is saying that he has constitutional rights to set up the panel following our directive, we also have the right to say stop, we are not sending you on the errand again.

Adeyemi described the inauguration as null and void.

He said, I can reveal to you that we are going to take necessary action in the next 24 hours.

The panel headed by Mr. Remi Bamigboye has Ali Apanisile;Sesan Adesuyi; Segun Ige; Olu Alade; Solomon Ajisafe; and Olufunmilayo Olukogbon as members.

Aderemi added that a letter directing the CJ to appear before the Assembly on Wednesday (today) had been sent to him.

Reacting to the Assemblys opposition, Bamisile said the provisions of Section 188 (5) of the 1999 Constitution, empowered him to choose members of the panel.

Bamisile vowed not to bow to pressure from any quarters.

He said, They (legislators) want to force a list they claim is from above on me. I told them I wont take any instruction from above. The Assembly cannot be blowing hot and cold. It can go on with the matter or abandon it.

This is the only panel I am setting up. I chose people I considered neutral as its members. I did that according to the dictates of my conscience.

Bamisile, however, said that he would not hesitate to replace any member found not competent to serve in the panel.

Asked if he would appear before the lawmakers, he replied, They are jokers.

On why he did not accept the letters from the Speaker, Bamisile said he did not follow the normal process.

You cannot go to the Presidency and just drop a letter. There is a correspondence unit where letters are dropped before being taken to the appropriate channels, he explained.

Shortly after the ceremony, Bamigboye promised that the panel members would not allow themselves to be intimidated.

He said the panel would write to the Assembly to get the needed instructions on how to go about its job.

The panel sat briefly before adjourning till Thursday.

Before that, Bamigboye requested the Police to provide security for the panel members.

Reacting, the state government said that the call by the Assembly for the dissolution of the panel was unconstitutional.

In a statement by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Owoseni Ajayi, the government said the power to set up the panel was exclusive to the CJ.

Meanwhile, Fayose and Olujimi have withdrawn their suit challenging the impeachment moves against them.

Their counsel, Mr. Yusuf Ali (SAN), who was represented by Mr Kehinde Eleja, said in a letter to the Ado-Ekiti High Court, that events had overtaken the suit.

And in Jos, Plateau State, some of the lawmakers seeking the removal of Governor Joshua Dariye did not sit as earlier reported.

As early as 8 am on Monday a personnel armoured carrier and heavily armed detachment of riot policemen had taken over the Assembly complex following rumours that the legislators were on their way to the city to hold a session.

It was learnt that some youths mobilised and barricaded the roads leading to the tin city ostensibly to prevent the lawmakers from entering.

Some of the youths, including a Special Assistant to the Governor, Miss Linda Damla, were however arrested by policemen.

Others were seriously beaten by the policemen

When contacted by one of our correspondents, the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Dominic Iornumbe, said he was not aware of any arrest.

Meanwhile, the state government said it had uncovered fresh plans to freeze its accounts.

The Secretary to the State Government, Mr. John Gobak, in a statement on Tuesday, said that the moves were being instigated by those he described as enemies of the state.

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