Law News
Gross misconduct: APC asks court to okay Fayose for impeachment

The All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday, dragged Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State before the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court over his alleged gross misconduct and financial recklessness.

The suit which was entered by the legal directorate of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Council (APCPCC), is praying the high court to compel the Ekiti State House of Assembly to immediately commence impeachment proceedings against Fayose.

Ayodele Fayose

The plaintiffs, who are 53 in number, were led by Professor Akinseye George, SAN.

They told the court that Fayose has since his assumption into office, conducted himself in a manner that is unbecoming of a State Governor, alleging that he used statutory fund that is meant for the state, and placed death-wish-adverts against the Presidential candidate of the APC, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, rtd.

The plaintiffs are also asking the court for a declaration that the publications which Fayose caused to be repeatedly published in several national dailies using the statutory funds of the State government, constituted a breach of Section 95(1) of the Electoral Act, 2010, as amended.

Besides, they beseeched the high court for an order directing the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba, who was also joined as a defendant in the suit, to investigate Fayose pursuant to Section 95 of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended.

Others who were joined as the 1st to 23rd defendants in the suit were the Chief Press Secretary to Fayose, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, the Government of Ekiti State, the Attorney-General of Ekiti State, the Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, the State’s House of Assembly, Ado Ekiti Local Government, the Chairman Aiyekire Local Government Area, the Chairmen and the following local governments in the state, Ekiti East, Ekiti South, Ekiti West, Emure, Ido Osi, Ijero, Ikere, Ikole, Ilejemeji,, Irepodun, Ise/Orun, Moba, Oye, as well as the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The defendants maintained that the death-wish-adverts that were sponsored by Fayose were meant to confer undue advantage on the presidential candidate of the 22nd defendant (PDP), contrary to Sections 102 and 126(c) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, as well as sections 34(1) (a), 35, 36 and 37 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.

Consequently, aside seeking for Fayose’s impeachment, the plaintiffs, further prayed the court to among other reliefs; declare that the contents of the publications and all other similar utterances by Fayose amounted to gross misconduct under the law.

Likewise, they are praying the court for, “An order pursuant to sections 95(7) (a) and (b) and 8 of the Electoral Act, 2010(as amended) directing the 1st to the 21st defendants to pay the sum of one million Naira only (1,000,000) and 22nd defendant to pay the sum of two million (N2 million only) daily from the 20th of January 2015, until the cessation of the breaches of the Electoral Act complained of herein.

“Alternatively, an order directing the 23rd defendant (the IGP) to investigate Fayose pursuant to Section 95 of the Electoral Act 2010(as amended).

“An exemplary and aggravated damages of N50 billion for malicious falsehood contained in the several advertorials and publications which said sum will be used to enhance the course of ethical and responsible journalism”.

More so, the plaintiffs through their counsel, Chief James Ocholi, SAN, who is leading three other Senior Advocates of Nigeria, are further asking for a retraction of all the offensive publications, insisting that the retractions must be published ten times on the front pages of major international magazines, television and local newspapers with prominent headlines.

In their statement of claim, the plaintiffs averred that the 1st to 21st defendants were sued for being vicariously liable for the gross misconduct and errant behaviors of Fayose, their Executive Governor, who is also the Coordinator of the South West Nigerian Branch of the Dr. Goodluck Jonathan/Sambo Presidential Campaign Organization.

They told the court that Fayose who they said has a religious background in White Garment Church, had at a point, claimed to be an evangelist, adding that one of his aides had prior to the offensive publications being complained of, forged a medical certificate on the state of health of General Buhari, the Presidential Candidate of the APC.

The statement of claim before the court further read: “That Mr. Ayodele Fayose, whose agents slapped the Chief Judge of Ekiti State and desecrated the judiciary before his election, listed three former Heads of State all from the North West geographical area of Nigeria, who died in office as Presidents or Heads of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The said publications are pleaded and shall be found useful at the hearing of the suit”.

Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for hearing of the suit which is yet to be assigned.

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