The Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Dr Adewale Omirin, has voiced concern over incessant blackmail and intimidation of state House of Assembly by the state government, saying that Governor Ayodele Fayose’s reactions to refusal by the All Progressive Congress (APC) members to dump their party for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are going beyond approved standards of modern governance.
A statement by the Speaker’s Special Adviser on Media, Wole Olujobi, said the latest allegation of demanding N135 million for the screening of Governor Ayodele Fayose’s commissioner-nominees was a propaganda taken too far and went against the grains of decency in a fledgling democracy.
Omirin, who said he would not have reacted if not for the gullible public that would be deceived by lies by the Executive, expressed worry over media reports casting the House of Assembly as a stumbling block to Governor Ayo Fayose’s bid to constitute his cabinet, saying that the reports in the media on the nominees are misleading.
Stressing that the House will not be distracted from its record of integrity in making quality laws for Ekiti people as done in the last four years in making 74 laws without demanding for money, the Speaker explained: “The standard practice is to present the list of the nominees in the plenary while the nominees will follow with the submission of their credentials. They will be screened before confirmation.
“The governor sent three nominees on Monday, 10th November, 2014 and the list was read in the Parliamentary that day. Since it is a public document, we read the letter second day in the plenary. Nobody submitted any credential. We don’t know the nominees. They have not submitted their credentials for the appropriate committees to screen them. It is surprising that the governor expects the House to confirm the nominees as sent. This is strange in parliamentary conduct.”
Omirin regretted that the governor responded by freezing the bank accounts of the House of Assembly, saying one arm of government cannot close down the activities of the other.
“How can you elevate intimidation and blackmail to an art of governance? The Chief Judge was blackmailed that he took bribes of N20 million to stall hearing on local council development area case and another alleged N200 million to reassign the E-Eleven’s perjury case to Justice Olusegun Ogunyemi to return guilty verdict on the governor.
“After the judiciary had been blackmailed to submission, it is now the turn of the parliament to be brought to its knees by blackmailing members and freezing the accounts of the House as if the House is a department in the Governor’s Office,” the Speaker lamented.
Omirin said the governor will have himself to blame if he continues in his anti-democratic conducts while all members mentioned in the bribery scandal would go to court to seek justice.
He added that Ekiti radio and television managements would account for libel contained in their broadcasts, stressing that all those involved in concocting these damaging acts will be made to account for their actions.
Omirin added that for pointing the attention of the governor to the subsisting case on the local government in court as responsible for the House’s handicap to treat his request for the reconstitution of the local councils, police and PDP thugs in the wee hours of yesterday stormed and ransacked the home of Honourable Kayode Fasakin representing Ekiti West Constituency Two of the state.
The Speaker said the House will meet over reckless use of the state media to blackmail the members of the House, even as he added that the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission will be put on notice on the reckless and unprofessional use of the state media to haunt the opposition.