Written by Eric Ikhilae,
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council and 53 others have asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to compel the Ekiti State House of Assembly to begin impeachment proceedings against Governor Ayodele Fayose.
In the suit filed on Monday, the plaintiff accused Fayose of gross misconduct for allegedly suggesting, in an advert he sponsored in some national newspapers, that the APC’s presidential candidate, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, will die in office, if he is elected.
They prayed the court to award N50billion against Fayose and 21 other defendants for malicious falsehood against Buhari
The APC, which sued through its Legal Directorate, and other plaintiffs, alleged that such act by Fayose was a public misconduct “unbecoming of a Nigerian governor”.
The plaintiffs alleged that Fayose, described as Coordinator of the Goodluck/Sambo Presidential Campaign Organisation of the Peoples Democratic Party, sponsored the publications using the statutory funds of the Ekiti State government.
They, therefore, want the court to declare that the act of the defendants constitute a breach of Section 95(1) of the Electoral Act (2010) as amended.
They also want the court to declare that the publications by the defendants were meant to confer undue advantage on the PDP’s presidential candidate.
The plaintiffs are also seeking a declaration that the contents of the publications referred to in relief 1 above and all other similar utterances by Ayodele Fayose amount to gross misconduct under the law.
An order pursuant to sections 95(7)(a) and (b) and 8 of the Electoral Act 2010(as amended) directing the first to the 21st defendants to pay N1 million and the 22nd defendant to pay N2 million daily from January 20, until the cessation of the breaches of the Electoral Act complained of herein.
Alternatively, an order directing the 23rd defendant (the inspector general of police) to investigate Fayose pursuant to Section 95 of the Electoral Act 2010(as amended).
An exemplary and aggravated damage of N50 billion for malicious falsehood contained in the several advertorials and publications, the said sum will be used to enhance the course of ethical and responsible journalism.
The plaintiffs also want the court to order the defendants to publish 10 times on the front pages of major international magazines, television and local newspapers with prominent headlines, retractions of all the offensive publications made by the defendants.
The defendants include Fayose’s Chief Press Secretary Idowu Adelusi; Ekiti State Government; the Attorney-General, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, and the House of Assembly.
Others include the chairmen of the following local governments in Ekiti State, Ado Ekiti, Aiyekire, Ekiti East, Ekiti South, Ekiti West, Emure, Ido Osi, Ijero, Ikere, Ikole, Ilejemeji, Irepodun, Ise/Orun, Moba, Oye.
Other defendants are Fayose and PDP.
The plaintiffs stated, in their statement of claim, that the government, House of Assembly, the functionaries of the state, and the local government chairmen are sued as being vicariously liable for “the gross misconduct and errant behaviour of Ayodele Fayose, their governor who is also the Coordinator of the South West Nigerian Branch of the Jonathan/Sambo Presidential Campsign Organisation.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.