By CHRIS EKEKE, Abuja
Immediate past governor of Ekiti State and minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has challenged the competence of the Judicial Commission of Enquiry set up by Governor Ayodele Fayose to probe his administration, urging an Ado-Ekiti High Court for an injunction to restrain the state government and the commission from going ahead with the probe.
The minister, in the suit number HAD/57/2017, is asking the court to restrain the state governor, the state’s attorney-general and members of the judicial commission of enquiry from taking any step, following the pendency of two cases on the planned probe in courts of competent jurisdiction.
Also joined in the suit filed by the counsel to the Minister, Chief Rafiu O. Balogun, are the Ekiti State House of Assembly and Speaker of the House of Assembly.
Fayemi is also seeking a declaration that the motion and subsequent resolution of Ekiti State House of Assembly directing the governor (first defendant) to set up a judicial commission of enquiry to investigate or probe his administration are unlawful, illegal and ought to be declared null and void, in view of the fact the resolution was passed during the pendency of a case involving him and the Ekiti
State House of Assembly and its speaker, which touched on the legality of the summons and powers of the Assembly to conduct any investigation or direct any other person or body to do so without strict compliance with the tenets of the 1999 constitution.
He averred that the Ekiti State House of Assembly acted in flagrant contravention of the principle of separation of powers and had committed a fundamental breach of the Standing Order of the House of
Assembly and doctrine of subjudice by revisiting the issue of investigation of his administration and passing a resolution for the setting up of a judicial commission of enquiries with terms and reference that would prejudice the outcome of the case between him and the House of Assembly and its speaker.
Fayemi is also seeking a declaration that the House of Assembly cannot exercise its power under Section 128 of the 1999 Constitution, to direct Ekiti State Governor to set up a judicial commission of
enquiry to investigate his administration while the House had earlier conducted its investigation and submitted its report to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) urging the anti- graft body to further conduct discreet investigation and prosecute him and some officials of his administration.
Other declarations being sought by Dr Fayemi are: “That the setting up of the panel after the conclusion of its investigation by the House of Assembly to allegations of financial malpractices and the submission
of same to the EFCC would amount to oppression, double jeopardy and a clear abuse of legislative power.
“A declaration that the House of Assembly cannot exercise its constitutional right to direct or cause the Governor of Ekiti State to
constitute a judicial commission of enquiry to investigate the plaintiff when the conditions precedent for the exercise of such powers, as enshrined in the constitution, have not been fulfilled by the Assembly.
Aside this, Fayemi is also seeking from the court, a perpetual injunction restraining the House of Assembly from passing similar resolution and the Governor of the state from constituting another
judicial commission of enquiry or administrative panel as the issues relating to the finances of the his administration have been submitted before the EFCC and pending before two courts of competent
jurisdiction for adjudication.
The former governor, in the supporting affidavit he personally deposed to, said he knew that the resolution of the House summoning him to appear before it and subsequent resolution of the House to issue a bench warrant of arrest against him were done in bad faith.
“It was a calculated attempt to embarrass me and undermine the effect of my libel suit pending before the Federal Capital territory High Court in Abuja.”
Fayemi said that he was convinced that the chairman of the commission, the secretary and all other members of the commission are cronies and stooges of Governor Fayose and have been appointed to act a script already prepared by their appointing authority, as touted by Mr. Lere Olayinka and Dr Samuel Omotosho before the constitution of the commission of enquiry.
“There is no way justice can be done with the crop of personalities in the Commission of Enquiry and the right to fair hearing cannot be guaranteed in the way and manner the commission was constituted”, he