Members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, on Thursday, stormed the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with eight-page petition, accompanied with several documents, to support the House’s demand for the investigation and prosecution of the immediate past governor of the state and Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr Kayode Fayemi and others for allegedly looting the state to the tune of over N40 billion.
The petition, dated October 24, 2016 and signed by Speaker of the House, Honourable Kolawole Oluwawole, was submitted to the commission around 10:00a.m. by the trio of the Deputy Speaker, Honourable Segun Adewumi; Chairman, House Committee on Information, Dr Samuel Omotoso and Chairman, House Committee on Education, Honourable Sina Animasaun.
The petition was entitled; “Complaint of fraudulent practices against former Ekiti State governor and Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr Kayode Fayemi and others: Call for investigation and prosecution.”
Other people mentioned in the petition are Mr Dapo Kolawole (Commissioner for Finance), Mr Yemi Adaramodu (Chief of Staff), Mr Abiodun Oyebanji, Arc Oyelade (CASA Nig Ltd) and Mr Bayo Kelekun.
Addressing newsmen, the deputy speaker said; “since EFCC has claimed that the commission does not have any complaint against those holding power in Abuja on corruption, we have decided to submit this petition openly so that Nigerians and indeed, the entire world will be able to follow it up and ask questions from the EFCC as to what has happened to it.”
He urged the commission to act fast on the petition in the overall interest of the people of the state who have been subjected to severe economic hardship due to the mismanagement of the state’s resources.
On his own, the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Dr Omotoso disclosed that the petition bordered on 10 major issues, namely; construction of new civic centre, construction of new governor’s office, mismanagement of the N25billion bond and N5billion commercial bank loan, construction of new government house, diversion of State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) N852.9 million, fraudulent purchase of 156 units of Ford vehicles from Coscharis Motors, inflation of road contracts, among others.
Dr Omotosho stated that the Assembly had already carried out thorough investigations on all the allegations and invited the former governor to appear before it to defend himself but refused.
According to him, “we want the anti-graft commission to go through our petition and invite Dr Fayemi to answer to all the allegations. Federal Government should not cover him because a government that covers alleged corruption is also a corrupt entity.”
Also speaking, Honourable Animasaun said that the Assembly could no longer pretend “as if nothing was wrong in the face of the monumental looting of the state treasury perpetrated by the immediate past APC government of Fayemi, hence the complaint to the EFCC.”
The petition, which was accompanied with several documents, reads in parts; “Consequent upon the resolution of the House of Assembly, we write to request for the investigation of the following allegations of fraudulent practices against the former Governor of Ekiti State and incumbent Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr Kayode Fayemi and others.
“These fraudulent practices included, but not limited to contracts inflation, misappropriation of fund, diversion of local council and SUBEB funds, amongst others.”
Meanwhile, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has said he would not be distracted by the childish and ridiculous allegations of fraud levelled against his administration in Ekiti State by the State House of Assembly.
Dr Fayemi, who reacted to the petition submitted by the state assembly to the EFCC, alleging N40billion fraud under his watch as governor of the state, said the lawmakers’ claims were not only baseless, but a calculated attempt to distract him.
The minister’s Special Assistant on Media, Mr Yinka Oyebode, said in a statement on Thursday that the petition was nothing but a rehash of old tales told by little minds.
He added that since the allegations lacked substance, it is bound to fail like the previous ones by the state government and its agents.
The statement by Oyebode reads: “The petition by the Assembly is nothing but another calculated attempt to distract and tarnish the hard-earned reputation of the honourable minister with spurious allegations.
“The Ekiti Assembly and indeed the Ayodele Fayose –led administration, had spent the last two years rehearsing and rehashing all manners of ridiculous allegations in their desperate efforts to taint Dr Fayemi’s reputation. As at last count, they have come up with six different attempts, with varying degrees of falsehood.
“Dr Fayemi’s four years meritorious service in Ekiti remains an open book. The administration’s financial dealings and executed projects were well documented and copies of the documents are with the Assembly. We enjoin them to read the necessary portions and get the right answers to their puerile posers.”
“But if their intention is to distract the minister and paint him in corrupt garb, then they have failed, as Dr Fayemi cannot be distracted by the government’s cheap blackmail.
“At this stage of our democracy, it is sad that a whole Assembly would be involved in what is known as ‘Pull him down syndrome.’ But the good news is that Ekiti people know the difference between those who serve them well and mere pretenders.
“Dr Fayemi remains focused on his current assignment of leading the economic diversification plan of the Federal Government through the mining sector and no ill-conceived machination can distract him.
“Finally, the Fayose-led government is advised to concentrate on the provision of amenities in the state and desist from its maniacal penchant for falsehood and cheap blackmail.”