Ekiti State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has criticised the state House of Assembly over its threat to issue warrant of arrest against former governor Kayode Fayemi for his failure to appear before it to defend allegation of N40billion fraud levelled against him by Governor Ayodele Fayose.
The party described the assembly’s move as arm-twisting tactic and panicky measure to divert attention from the minister’s libel suit slammed against a member of the House, Dr Ayodele Omotoso, and the governor’s aide, Lere Olayinka, over allegations of fraud.
Also berating the Assembly for not following due diligence in handling of its investigative power, it argued that since allegations over which Fayemi was being invited for investigation were the same allegations over which the minister instituted a libel suit against Fayose’s aides, the Assembly should utilise the matter before the court to establish their case.
Members of the state House of Assembly had last week given the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) an eight-day ultimatum to probe Fayemi, who is also the minister of Mines and Steel Development, failure of which they would sue the anti-graft agency.
They also asked Fayemi to appear before them on Tuesday (tomorrow) failure of which a warrant of arrest would be issued against him.
In a statement by the state publicity secretary of APC, Mr Taiwo Olatunbosun, in Ado Ekiti, yesterday, the party slammed the lawmakers, accusing them of alleged attempt to shift attention from the libel suit Fayose’s aides to blackmail the EFCC, federal government and put the former governor in bad light.
Olatunbosun described the lawmakers as, “idle and a bunch of ignorant Fayose-ball-boys who don’t know their right from left. They cannot raise any bill except the one brought by Fayose. The present bunch of Assembly members is a caricature of the Honourable Assembly we have been having in Ekiti , this is a big shame.”
According to him, “Even though we know that Fayemi’s invitation is a clear intention of the House to persecute him by indicting him first through public statements and utterances before asking him to appear before them for investigation, the matter is before the court and so the Assembly lacks the power to invite Fayemi for a clear case of persecution.
“We see the House’s action as a panicky measure coming immediately after Omotoso and Olayinka were served the court summons asking them to defend their allegations of fraud against the minister, all this in order to divert attention from failure to pay workers’ salaries and hide behind debts to continue to bleed the state dry.
“It is unfortunate that a set of people, who ought to show the way in the protection of the law in its justice promotion for the benefit of the citizenry are the same people trying to create impediment to the administration of justice by first delivering guilt verdict on an innocent man and later ask him to appear before them for investigation
“We are not surprised, however, that Ekiti members of the Assembly are acting in this manner against the backgrounds of members, some of whom are barely educated and who cannot read the provisions of the law to know the protocols of their office to have a better understanding on what they were elected to do,” Olatunbosun said.
The APC spokesman also accused Fayose of desperation to divert attention from his investigation over alleged election fraud through arms cash diversion and at the same time put Fayemi in bad light.