A White Paper released by Ekiti State Government has barred a former governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, from holding a public office in the state for 10 years.
The state also barred his former Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Dapo Kolawole, for the same number of years.
The duo were barred based on the report of the Ekiti Judicial Commission of Inquiry, which indicted them over alleged mismanagement of the state’s finances between October 2010 and 2014.
Fayemi, now a Minister of Mines and Steel Development, was the governor during the stated period.
The white paper declared them “as unfit to hold any public office in the state for their refusal to appear before this Commission of Inquiry, even, after the determination of the case challenging the inauguration of the commission of Inquiry before the Ekiti State High Court.
“Their disrespect to the constituted authority and the undignified roles they played in the whole contracts saga were obviously against the interest of the state they were supposed to protect. They are banned from holding public office in Ekiti and any part of Nigeria,” it added.
Briefing newsmen after the State Executive Council meeting, the Commissioner for Information, Mr Lanre Ogunsuyi, said that Ekiti State was a pacesetter in the management of finances.
“Government views accountability and probity as the hallmark of good governance. Therefore, the government decided to set up the Judicial Panel of Inquiry in line with its law enacted in 2012.
“The government viewed seriously the report and it intend to carry out all the recommendations in the report.”
The white paper mandated Fayemi and Kolawole to refund N2.7bn which was allegedly allocated for the execution of the contract for the ultra-modern market that was never executed.
It asked Fayemi and Kolawole to also account for the whereabouts of the N468.6m earmarked for the Ero Water Works from the Bond Prospectus which was not utilised.
But reacting, Fayemi through his Special Assistant on Media, Yinka Oyebode, described the ban as “a pre-meditated verdict” and “a joke taken too far.”
“While we believe it is part of the responsibilities of the state administration to look into the finances of the state at any point in time, we are also of the belief that such must be done in a very responsible manner devoid of prejudice, witch hunting and a calculated attempt to victimize a citizen.”