Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose and his deputy, Kolapo Olusola, have raced to a Federal High Court in Abuja to stop the 19 All Progressives Congress members of the state House of Assembly from impeaching them. But they met a brick wall as the judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, turned down their request and granted only the prayers contained in their ex parte application relating to the service of the court processes on the defendants. Fayose and Olusola, in the ex parte application, asked for an interim order stopping the impeachment notice served on them and the moves to remove them from office.
Counsel for the plaintiffs, Ahmed Raji, had in the ex parte application dated April 7 urged the court to set aside the impeachment notice and restrain the defendants from taking any further steps in that direction. The lawyer argued that the impeachment notice signed by Omirin amounted to impersonating the “incumbent speaker (Dele).’’ He said:
“The kernel of our complaint is that a former speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, in the person of the 1st respondent (Omirin) is trying to impersonate the 1st plaintiff (Dele), who is the current speaker of the parliament.”
Part of the orders sought by the plaintiffs are: “An injunction restraining the 1st defendant (Dele) and other errant members of the 2nd plaintiff (House of Assembly) from further taking any step or engagining in unlawful activities relating to the impeachment of Ayodele Fayose and Kolapo Olusola as governor and deputy governor of Ekiti State.
“An interim order of injunction restraining the Chief Judge from taking any step or action in relation to the request of the 1st defendant (Omirin) for the purpose of appointing a panel of seven persons to investigate the purported allegations of gross misconduct against Fayose and Olusola.
“An interim order restraining the police from continuing to abet, give cover, protection or lend credence to the activities of the 1st defendant and other errant members of the 2nd plaintiff for self-help in disruption of legislative proceedings in the House of Assembly.
“An interim order setting aside the purported notice of impeachment and all the steps taken by the 1st defendant and other errant members of the 2nd plaintiff in relation to the purported issuance and service of the notice of impeachment for the purpose of commencing and concluding impeachment proceedings against Fayose and Olusola.”
The plaintiffs had urged the court to grant the prayers and make the interim injunctions to subsist pending the determination of their motion on notice for interlocutory injunctions seeking the same set of prayers. Raji urged the court to grant the prayers “in the interest of justice, public order, peace and safety of the people of the state.”
But the judge rather than granting the interim injunctions ordered the parties to appear in court to convince him on why the plaintiffs’ prayers should not be granted. Justice Mohammed ruled:
“The order is hereby made directing the 1st to 4th defendants (Omirin, IG , INEC and Ekiti CJ) to appear before this court on April 16, 2015 and show cause why the interim order sought by the plaintiffs via an ex parte motion dated April 7, 2015 should not be made by this court.”
The court granted leave to serve Omirin and Justice Daramola, who reside in Ekiti State, outside jurisdiction. It also ordered that Omirin and the CJ be served through advertisement in a national newspaper. It also made a separate order that the CJ be served with processes of court through the office of the Chief Registrar of of the Ekiti State High Court.
In their main suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/302/2015, the plaintiffs are seeking nine prayers among which is “an order setting aside the purported notice of impeachment and all steps taken by the 1st defendant (Omirin) with other errant members of the 2nd plaintiff in relation to the purported issuance and service of the said notice of impeachment for the purpose of commencing and concluding the impeachment proceedings against Fayose and Olusola, except and until there is absolute compliance with provisions of section 36(1) and section 188(1), (2), (3) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).”
The move by the APC lawmakers to sack Fayose and Olusola had led to mayhem in parts of the state on Monday and Tuesday. During protests on Tuesday by Fayose supporters, a man, Modupe Olaiya, was shot dead in Efon Alaaye. Olaiya’s death became a subject of controversy with Fayose accusing the APC lawmakers being culpable in a in a petition he sent to the IG.
“The APC lawmakers were escorted by five fully armed riot policemen, who I later discovered were brought from MOPOL 20 in Lagos State,” he added.
He listed the mobile policemen as Sgt Oyelakin Zacchaeus (F/No 386073), Cpl Adewuya Clement (F/No 396903), Cpl James Ogunji (F/No 386976), Cpl Ebute Michael (F/No 343469) and Cpl. Ibrahim Zock (F/No 235510). Fayose urged Abbah to investigate the role of the policemen in the whole saga. He said:
“To my surprise, instead of the police arresting the lawmakers, they were allowed to return to Osogbo, Osun State where they came from. As I write, the entire Efon Alaaye community is tense, with the people expecting justice to prevail on the gruesome murder of Modupe Olaiya.”
“It is therefore on this note, and most importantly, the need to restore the confidence of the people in the police that I implore that you use your good offices to order a thorough investigation into the murder.
“It is also important that the involvement of the above listed mobile policemen is ascertained as they were not from Ekiti State and were not deployed to escort the lawmakers to the state by the state police command.”
Olaiya’s mother, Apeke, told journalists in company with her daughter-in-law, Yinka, that one of the lawmakers killed her son. She said:
“It (killing) happened at Fabo, at Efon Junction on the way to Ijebu-Ijesha. They said he (lawmaker) was coming with some OPC (Odua Peoples Congress) members from Lagos and they made a detour in Osun State, but they were coming to Ekiti through Ijebu-Ijesha.
“What I learnt was that when the convoy arrived at Fabo Junction, they opened fire on the protesters who had mounted a roadblock, claiming that that Efon people were heady and stubborn.
“I was told that my son had hidden behind a car when everyone else had scampered to safety. He was shot in the back while crawling out of danger to the bush.
“The vehicle with which he was being taken to the hospital ran out of fuel on the way, they continued with a motorcycle, which also ran out of fuel at Adagba farm settlement. They eventually got another motorcycle with which they got him to Odufunke Hospital, where the doctor had to call the police to ascertain his identity, having been brought as a gunshot victim.
“While all these were going on, my son had started to foam from the mouth and while they were trying to give him blood, he gave up the ghost. His pregnant wife, Yinka, has two children. I don’t know what to do now. Olaiya is my fourth child and had been the sponsor of the family.”
She spoke at the Government House in Ado Ekiti. But the APC lawmakers accused the governor of inducing the mother and other family members of the deceased to make the claim. According to them, Olaiya was felled by soldiers’ bullets at Efon Alaaye.
“We have confirmed that Fayose gave the woman huge sum of money and asked her to start crying, rolling on the floor with persistent mentioning of Hon. Ogundele as the one who shot the boy,” they said in a statement by Omirin’s Special Adviser, Media, Wole Olujobi.
The statement added:
“Modupe Olaiya was actually killed by security agents while thugs armed with guns and other dangerous weapons massed up at the Itawure security checkpoint violently protesting and blocking the route through which the 19 APC lawmakers were coming to Ado Ekiti.
“Residents of Efon Alaaye have confirmed that the incident happened long before the lawmakers arrived at the checkpoint when the thugs became unruly and started shooting at the security agents.
“In the exchange of gunfire, Olaiya was felled and taken to the morgue. His body was later shown to residents by government officials alleging that Ogundele, who was nowhere near the scene, was implicated.
“The lawmakers were not even aware of the incident because they were still far away from the spot when the incident happened. So, it will be mischievous if the lawmakers are linked with the incident.
“Nigerians should recall that the Ekiti State High Court once dismissed Fayose as an incorrigible liar and peddler of mischief. Nigerians should therefore note the deceit involved in this show of shame. Is it the family of the deceased that should visit the governor in his office or the governor that should visit them to sympathise with them in their house?
“This is another propaganda typical of Fayose’s mischief to get at the opposition. What Fayose is doing is to stoke crisis that will lead to the arrest of Hon. Ogundele so that he will not be around on Saturday for the House of Assembly poll in which the man is seeking re-election.
“This is another stunt from a man who trades and trafficks in lies and mischief as essential instrument of governance.”