Fayemi files 500m libel suit against Ekiti assembly

A former Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, has filed a N500m suit against the Ekiti State House of Assembly for issuing a bench warrant for his arrest.

The Assembly recently called on the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to arrest Fayemi and bring him to explain the  allegation that he  misappropriated  the  State Universal Basic Education funds totaling N852m.

The  lawmakers also accused the  Minister of Mines and Steel Development of fraud in the award of contracts during his administration from 2010 to   2014.

But Fayemi in a suit filed by his counsel, Rafiu Balogun, said the action of the lawmakers was politically-motivated.

He demanded N500m from the defendants as general damages for the embarrassment, odium, contempt and public ridicule the issuance of the summons and arrest warrant had caused him.

According to him, the summons and warrant for  arrest issued against him by the Assembly was done in gross violation of the provisions of Sections 128 and 129 of the 1999 Constitution.

The defendants are the Speaker  of the Assembly Kola Oluwawole, the IG and  the Commissioner of Police, Ekiti State Command, Abdullahi Chafe.

Fayemi sought a perpetual injunction  restraining the IG and CP from arresting him or giving effect to the warrant for  arrest issued by the Assembly.

 The ex-governor urged the court to declare that the issuance of the warrant to compel him to  appear before the Assembly  to answer questions on the N852m UBEC fund was an issue before a Federal Capital Territory High Court and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

 In  his affidavit in support of the Originating Summons, Fayemi said he knew  that  the Ekiti State Government did not constitute any Judicial Commission of Inquiry or an Administrative Panel of Inquiry to investigate him or probe his tenure let alone finding him guilty or indicting him for any corrupt practices or misappropriation of funds.

He contended that the resolution to summon him to appear before the Assembly and the subsequent warrant for  arrest was a calculated attempt to embarrass him and done to water down the effect of a libel suit he filed at an Abuja High Court against a lawmaker, Samuel Omotoso,  and an aide to  Governor Ayo Fayose,  Lere Olayinka.

Fayemi averred that he prepared a comprehensive handover note of his stewardship of four years which was made available to the lawmakers,  adding that it was in recognition of his zero tolerance for corruption and selfless service to humanity that he was appointed  a minister by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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