Ekiti State governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has raised the alarm over a new plot by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to remove him from office with the connivance of the judiciary, Thisday reports.
Addressing journalists in Lagos yesterday, Fayose said he had already petitioned the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, on the plot.
The governor said the target was to silence him as the voice of opposition in the country, because he had bluntly rejected all overtures for him to defect to the ruling APC or stop talking.
He alleged that at a recent meeting held in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, with several stalwarts and chieftains of the APC in attendance, two former governors of the state and members of the APC, namely Segun Oni and Dr. Kayode Fayemi, now Minister of Mines and Solid Mineral Development, boasted that there was no going back on the latest plan to remove him from office at all cost before the expiration of his (Fayose’s) tenure in October 2018.
The governor, who warned against any plot to destabilise his state, wondered how long the Ekiti APC and its collaborators would pursue their clandestine agenda of reversing an election they lost over 30 months ago and was validated by the tribunal, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
In a letter he addressed to Justice Onnoghen, Fayose alleged: “Certain APC chieftains were again making subterranean moves to manipulate and compromise a section of the judiciary, particularly some judges, to get through the back door what they failed severally to achieve through the ballot box as well as in open court, even in matters already decided by the Supreme Court.
“The essence of all of this is to silence him as the voice of opposition in the country because he has bluntly rejected all overtures to him to defect into the ruling APC or stop talking.”
The governor added: “At a recent meeting held in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, at which several stalwarts and chieftains of the APC were in attendance, two former governors of the state and members of the APC, namely Segun Oni, a former governor of the state, and Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the Minister of Mines and Solid Mineral Development, boasted that there is no going back on the latest plan to subvert the will of the people of Ekiti freely given.
“Wrest the governance of Ekiti from me at all cost before the expiration of my tenure in October 2018 through an orchestrated but dubious legal process; and thereby render nugatory the sacred mandate of the people given unto me openly and unequivocally when I won in all the 16 local governments of the state while the then incumbent governor, Fayemi recorded zero.”
Fingering the presidency in the latest plot, with Oni and Fayemi as their local arrowheads, Fayose alleged that a concocted fresh suit was being rehashed and will be filed against him on the same old allegation that had been thrashed all the way from the tribunal to the Supreme Court.
He alleged: “This time, the plotters of this judicial coup d’etat plan to procure the services of a compromised or malleable judge to get self-serving ‘jankara’ and kangaroo judgments with the intention of having the Supreme Court reverse itself on the June 2014 Ekiti election.
“Oni and Fayemi boastfully claimed that they have enlisted the assurances of Justice Okon Abang and one or two other judges in the concocted fresh suit, hinged on the report of a useless, senseless, and orchestrated military report not known to the electoral law.”
Urging the CJN to take “notice of judicial pronouncements by courts of concurrent jurisdiction, as well as the scathing remarks of appellate courts on how Justice Abang has been used in the past by anti-democratic forces to endanger democracy and engage in deleterious miscarriage of justice”, he prayed that the judiciary would not succumb to devious plot to undermine its independence and integrity and rubbish its good name and hard-earned reputation any more.
“My Lord, you have a duty to ensure that no judge under your watch is enlisted into this diabolical act by any rampaging anti-democratic elements.
“The embarrassing incidents currently playing out on our national judicial horizon, with several judicial officers, including serving Justices of the Supreme Court, enmeshed in simulated and orchestrated corruption scandals and indictments by agencies of the federal government because they had refused, at one time or the other, to serve the base interests of the ruling APC government in matters pending before their lordships, have kept us wondering whether the judiciary will succumb to these unwarranted harassments and intimidation meant to coerce and cower it into submission and make this very important and indispensable Third Estate of the Realm subservient to the arbitrary wishes, whims, and caprices of the executive and political desperados,” he said.
Describing himself as “a leading opposition figure in Nigeria today who has been very critical of the anti-people policies of the federal government and its anti-democratic actions that endanger our nascent democracy”, Fayose added that “democracy without a virile opposition will eventually turn into a dictatorship, which is currently being experienced”.
He said he would continue to believe in the judiciary going by the open declaration of the CJN to defend the independence of the judiciary; maintain its integrity and deliver a virile and disciplined judiciary that is impartial, independent, non-partisan, and not subservient to the selfish interests of any individual, group or cabal, however powerful or influential they may be.
The governor therefore expressed confidence that Justice Onnoghen in particular and the judiciary in general would not only refuse to fall for the APC’s cheap and pedestrian blackmail, but would also resolutely and confidently defend the hallowed grounds of the judiciary and secure it from desecration by anti-democratic forces running riot all over the country.
The governor, who used the opportunity to speak on national issues, also berated the APC-led federal government for engaging in propaganda when Nigerians are suffering.
First, Fayose wondered why nobody had been brought to justice over frequent killings of Christians in southern Kaduna, saying that what the Christians were going through in the hands of Fulani herdsmen calls for concern.
He called on the Muhammadu Buhari administration to urgently put a stop to the killings in Kaduna State.
The governor said the country’s electoral process was devoid of violence under Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led federal government unlike the situation today.
“Our electoral process was devoid of violence but today the story is different,” he said.
Fayose again described the stories surrounding the adopted Chibok girls as a hoax, adding that the report on the release of the girls was part of the propaganda of the APC when Nigerians were completely tired of the their misrule.
“Some day, the whole story surrounding the Chibok girls will be told. Everything you read and hear about the girls is a hoax. Everything looks stage-managed. There was nothing about the Chibok girls. The girls were camped somewhere and trained. The truth will be told one day.”
But when contacted, the Special Assistant on Media to Fayemi, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, said he would rather not dignify Fayose’s ranting with a response.
According to Oyebode, “It is simply a case of the wicked running when no one pursues.
“It would appear, Governor Fayose wakes up daily in search of new controversies and making one spurious allegation after another. And it does not really matter to him whether such allegations are reasonable, logical or sensible.
“This allegation is not only irresponsible, it is quite unfair to the two former governors of the state.
“And one is not surprised at this, because under Fayose, falsehood has been elevated to the level of statecraft, sustained by the machinery of state.
“My advice to him is: Let the governor go and honour the promises he made to the Ekiti electorate (if he ever made any). Let him pay workers’ their salaries, take governance more seriously and make the state safe for lives, property and investments. If he can do these, then he needs not fear anyone.
“However, this is certainly a poorly contrived alibi for his ineptitude and apparent low capacity for the serious business of governance. It is purely a cheap blackmail that will not fly.”
In another riposte, the president’s media aide, Mr. Femi Adesina yesterday asked Nigerians to accept as the truth the statement issued by the Office of the Vice-President that the federal government had begun payments of N5,000 to indigent persons.
The vice-president’s media aide, Mr Laolu Akande had in a statement on Monday said that the stipend had been paid to poor Nigerians in nine states.
However, Fayose dismissed the statement, describing it as mere propaganda on the part of the federal government.
Responding after the Federal Executive Council meeting held in Abuja yesterday, Adesina said: “On the N5,000 stipend, it was announced specifically from the Office of the Vice-President that the scheme has started in nine states. And then a certain governor came and said it was not true. It’s just a matter of who do you believe.
“This is a government that is built on integrity and accountability. This government will not lie to Nigerians, does not lie to Nigerians, in fact anything you hear from this government you can take it to the bank, believe it.
“So if anybody comes and says it is not true. Choose who to believe; I can tell you that you should believe this government because this government will not lie to you.”