An Ekiti State High Court has ruled that the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up to probe the handling of finances under former Governor Kayode Fayemi is valid and has the force of law.
The panel led by former Acting Chief Judge of Ekiti, Justice Silas Oyewole (retd), was set up by Governor Ayo Fayose to look into financial transactions of the state between October 2010 and October 2014.
In his judgment on Wednesday, Justice Adekanye Lekan Ogunmoye of High Court 6, held that Fayose has powers to set up the panel of inquiry without the prompting of the House of Assembly and that he properly so acted.
Ogunmoye held that Fayose acted pursuant to Section 2 (1) of the Commission Inquiry Law Cap C10 Laws of Ekiti State.
According to the judge, the governor does not need to consult the House of Assembly or anyone before setting up the commission of inquiry.
Ogunmoye, however, agreed that the State House of Assembly has no rights to direct the governor to set up the inquiry.
Fayose had in May constituted the panel to probe the income and expenditure carried out and projects executed under Fayemi.
Fayemi had filed suit No. HAD/57/2017 and approached the court to restrain the state government and the panel from going ahead with the exercise.
The ex-governor alleged that he could not get justice from the panel because its members are cronies of Fayose who had been handed the hatchet job to nail him at all cost.
Reacting to the judgment, Fayemi’s counsel, Mr. Akingbade Ogunmoyela said the court has agreed that the State House of Assembly has no right to direct the governor to set up the inquiry, saying it was of the opinion of the court based on the Ekiti Commission of Inquiry law that the governor has right to set the commission.
Ogunmoyela said he wouldn’t know whether or not his client would appeal the judgment.
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A Report Of The Judgement Of The 16 Divisions Of The Court Of Appeal In Nigeria