Ekiti State government has sued former governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, and his finance commissioner, Mr. Dapo Kolawole, for allegedly misappropriating N4.9 billion while in office.
The development came less than two weeks after releasing a white paper on the report of the Justice Silas Oyewole Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the finances of the state during the administration of Fayemi, who is now the minister of mines and steel development.
In the 19-count charge filed before the State High Court, Ado Ekiti at the weekend, Fayemi and Kolawole were accused of stealing, abuse of office and criminal contempt, among others.
According to a statement by the Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media to Governor Ayodele Fayose, Fayemi and Kolawole were accused of misappropriating N4.9 billion being the proceeds of Ekiti State Bond for the sum of N20 billion earmarked for various projects that were either not executed or partly done.
When the white paper was released on January 15, 2018, the government directed the Ministry of Justice to institute appropriate legal action(s) against the minister and others, saying they should be made to account for the whereabouts of the funds.
Count 12 of the charge read that Fayemi and Kolawole between 2011 and 2014 conspired to steal N2,750,000,000.00 (N2.75 billion) earmarked and released for the construction of ultra-modern market in Ekiti State, which they never built and thereby committed an offence.
Also on the N25 billion bond, Fayemi and Kolawole were accused of stealing N716,688,790.92 out of the N750 million earmarked and released for the construction of Ekiti State School of Agriculture out of which only N33.311,209.08 was allegedly spent.
The duo were also accused of stealing N198,860,023.00 being outstanding of the N500 million earmarked and released for the construction of Ekiti State Liaison Office in Lagos, out of which only N301,139,977 was expended for the said project.
Also, out of the N767, 970,167.47 earmarked in the bond prospectus and released for renovation of the governor’s office, only N87, 622,912.25 was allegedly spent, leaving an outstanding of N681, 347,255.22.
For the renovation of Ado Ekiti Water Works, N335.5 million was earmarked and released but only N155, 523,558 was spent, leaving N197, 979,441.77 as outstanding. The Ero water project, for which N468.6 million was earmarked, was allegedly not executed.
Fayemi and Kolawole were further charged with criminal contempt for allegedly refusing to appear before the commission of inquiry, an offence punishable under Section 13 of the Commission of Inquiry Law, Cap C. 10, Laws of Ekiti State, 2010 and Section 126 (2) of the Criminal
Code laws, Cap C. 16, Laws of Ekiti State, 2010, among others.
The government had banned the duo from holding public office in the state for 10 years, for their refusal to appear before the commission of inquiry, even after the determination of the case challenging the inauguration of the commission.
Meanwhile, Kolawole has filed a N20 billion libel suit against Fayose and two of his aides.
Also joined in the suit are the permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, attorney general of the federation, accountant general of the federation, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Debt Management Office (DMO). Others are chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), secretary to Ekiti State government, accountant general and the commissioner for finance.
Though the suit was filed on January 18 at the Federal High Court, Abeokuta Division, copies were obtained by reporters in Ado Ekiti yesterday.
Kolawole is asking the court to withhold the outstanding N11 billion being awaited as refund from the Federal Government on Ado-Ifaki road, saying it should not be given to the Fayose administration as the road was constructed by Fayemi asministration.
Kolawole is demanding damages of N10 billion each from Fayose’s spokesman, Lere Olayinka and a House of Assembly member for alleged criminal libel and defamation in a statement they made on a television and radio programmes.
Kolawole said Olayinka and the lawmaker claimed that he and his boss, Fayemi plunged the state into debt to the tune of N85 billion that would not be liquidated until 2036.
Other prayers of Kolawole include an order mandating the EFCC (9th defendant), to investigate the circumstances for the diversion and breach of the appropriation laws of Ekiti State through the cancellation of the original contract for Ikere-Iju-Ondo boundary dualisation without first ensuring that all laws and processes of government are strictly adhered to.
He is also seeking an order directing the Federal Ministry of Power Works & Housing to investigate contract relating to the Ikere-Iju-Ondo boundary road and stop further payments or reimbursement due on the project.
The former commissioner also wants disbursement of bailout funds, grants or other reimbursement due to Ekiti State, being Federal Government palliatives, to be disbursed directly through a committee of EFCC, accountant general of the federation, Federal Ministry of Finance, accountant general of Ekiti State, auditor general of Ekiti State and auditor general for local government to avert alleged further diversion or misappropriation of such funds by the state government.
The case will be heard on February 23.