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News for July 2004

How bill cost Ekiti speaker his job
NBA scribe debunks rumour over Ekiti's Lagos property Parents advised on negative impact of television, internet
Ekiti: Alleged killer-policemen may face trial Ekiti Assembly Passes Bill on LGs
N452m property: Firm faults Ekiti govt on petition to EFCC Police, firm differ over four 'robbery suspects'
Engineer Shot Dead Robbers kill cop, IG wants states to help fund police
Two die in robbery operation Ekiti elders decry crisis in state Assembly
Aiyede agog for monarch Ekiti pledges assistance to UNICEF programmes
Don Slumps, Dies Ekiti lawmakers oppose bill on removal of council chiefs
Court sentences three to death for robbery Fayose denies role in Speaker's removal, berates media
Fayose Clears Air on Speaker's Removal Ekiti Assembly Speaker Impeached
Ekiti Speaker removed, new speaker takes Oath of Office Ekiti lawmakers exchange blows as bid to remove Speaker fails
Ekiti Speaker Survives Impeachment Row in Ekiti House over bid to remove Speaker
Osun/Ekiti electricity extension project completed Three policemen detained in Ekiti
Principal officers in Ekiti Assembly may resign Fayose replies AD
Ekiti Promotes 1,500 LG Workers Ekiti Police Boss Abolishes Check Points
Fayose Clears Doctors' Salary Arrears Fayose tasks Ekiti Assembly on child's rights bill
Fayose, Ekiti Speaker crisis deepens Fake Admission: Ekiti Varsity Expels 412
Fayose, lawmakers disagree over bill on removal of LG chairmen Govt approves repair of Ekiti, Kwara link road
UNAD lecturers blame FG for neglecting road AD decries Fayose’s ban on councillors’ meetings
Fayose asks FG to rehabilitate abandoned Ado-Ekiti/Omu Aran road FG Orders Construction of 3 Bridges in Ekiti
Fayose restates call for repair of Ado-Ekiti, Otun road AD, no longer relevant in South-West –Fayose
Attah of Ayede Ekiti, files motion to halt execution of Appeal Court judgment Ekiti is viable for business, says Adelaja
Fayose, LG Chairman Resolve Rift Speaker flays police over invasion of Assembly
Farmer, 70, commits suicide Fayose Accuses LG Chairman of Sponsoring Protest
Fayose presents bill on power to remove council chiefs Fayose met Ekiti in debts, says official
Adebayo: Auditor-General testifies at Ekiti probe panel Appeal Court okays removal of Ekiti monarch
PDP has done well in Ekiti –Osuntokun UNAD suspends part-time programme
Opposition in Ekiti Destructive, Says Adelaja Cleanliness Par Excellence in Ado-Ekiti
Ekiti to Construct 100 Housing Units 2005 census: NPC solicits Ekiti’s assistance
Ayede Ekiti chiefs, finger governor's cousin in chieftaincy crisis FRSC warns motorists against offering bribes to marshals
Anyaoku, Adebayo restate need for national conference Ekiti denies alleged diversion of allocation to LGs

How bill cost Ekiti speaker his job   Back To Top

Saturday Champion, Saturday, July 31 2004

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Hon Sola Ajigbolamu, until last week, the speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, tasted the bitter side of politics as he was showed the way out of his plum office.Correspondent SUNDAY KUDAISI who watched the scene, reports that the impeachment of the speaker hallmarked eight months of intrigues and horse trading over the leadership of the House.

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AT last, the curtain fell. And the target went down with it. The embattled speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Sola Ajigbolamu, last week bowed to forces, insistent on shoving him aside.

His removal, now subject of wild celebration by some in the House, peaked the eight-month intrigues and open duel between Ajigbolamu and his antagonists who accuse him of running foul of the Assembly’s many laws.

It all started last year December, exactly eight months to Honourable Sola Ajigbolamu administration in the state Assembly. About sixteen of the twenty-six-member Assembly accused the leadership of the state Assembly of high-handedness, financial recklessness and insensitivity to their plights. The initial sixteen later rose to nineteen. These aggrieved lawmakers kicked against the leadership of the House, passed a vote of no confidence on the speaker and his officers and planned an impeachment of him.

The planned impeachment against the House leadership could not receive the blessing of the executive governor and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders, and therefore failed to see the light of the day. In fact on the day of the planned impeachment, majority of the lawmakers who came for the onslaught went home bruised. They met brickwall, with thugs and hundreds of regular and mobile policemen sealing-off the Assembly premises. While some were brutalised some were smashed, leading others to flee for their lives.

Since after the failed impeachment bid, lawmakers in the state Assembly have been living in suspicion of one another. Debates on the floor of the Assembly were formed along factional lines. Those who were the main actors in the failed impeachment were denied certain rights and privileges which other members enjoyed. Worse still, the governor Mr. Ayodele Fayose approved a two-week overseas tour for only twenty two of the twenty-six lawmakers. The remaining four members were chided and denied the tour for their roles in the impeachment of the house leadership.

This wielding of the big stick on the aggrieved lawmakers not withstanding they refused to break their rank. They remained a united force, feared by the speaker and other elected officers of the Assembly. While those in the impeachment faction silently bore their deprivation of certain goodies, those on the side of the speaker who were also seen as the governor’s ’boys’ enjoyed largesse of no measure.

However, trouble started again for the embattled speaker on July 7, when the governor Mr. Ayodele Fayose sponsored a bill to the state House of Assembly. The bill was meant to give the governor sweeping powers to remove any elected officer of Local Government on act of corruption and later seek the ratification of the state Assembly. But the speaker, who considered the bill as anti-people started mobilising traditional rulers and leaders of thought to speak with the governor on the implication of the bill. Besides, Hon. Ajigbolamu also invited speakers of Ondo, Ogun, Oyo and Osun states to persuade the governor on the bill. The four speakers at the end of their meeting with the governor did not succeed in their mission.

The state speaker, Hon. Ajigbolamu who was said to have considered the governor’s bill anti-people, a feeling the other speaker held allegedly refused to bring the bill for debate on the floor of the Assembly for two reasons. One, for fear that the bill might sail through. And secondly that his colleagues who hitherto wanted him impeached might use the bill against his office to effect his impeachment.

Apparently not comfortable with the proposition of the bill to the Assembly, the 175 counselors in the sixteen council areas of the state planned the mother-of-all-march to the Assembly on July 7, the scheduled date for debate of the bill. But the governor, Mr. Fayose quickly ordered anti-riot policemen, armed to the teeth, to seal off the Assembly. A saving grace for the speaker.

Though the governor succeeded in stalling the counselor’s mother of all march to the Assembly, he was not persuaded in his mind that the speaker was not working against his bill. And having realised that the governor was not convinced to change his mind on the bill, the speaker knew that his job was on the line this time around. As a result of that, Fayose and the speaker, Ajigbolamu started trading a different route, the old good days took a flight. While the governor was dogged to ensure the passage of his bill, the speaker was making efforts to persuade him to drop it.

In fact, the awaited opportunity for those who hitherto had planned impeachment of the speaker came. Fortunately for them, the governor was also alleged to have called his boys in the assembly and gave them his backing to change the leadership of the house.

The final wind of change in the assembly blew Friday, July, 16, when the majority leader in the House Hon Bobade Kayode representing Ikere (I) re-echoed the impeachment of the speaker. Unaware that the whole plan to oust him had been settled before the sitting of the House, Ajigbolamu called for secondment but before he knew what was happening nineteen members of the lawmakers had given their approval.

As Ajigbolamu was trying to stall his impeachment the House was thrown, into commotion. With that rowdy session the house adjourned sitting till Tuesday, 20 July, 2004. But the table was still turned against the speaker when the nineteen lawmakers re-convened Monday July 19 a day before the July 20. They met at the parliamentary chamber with the mace under heavy security. Over 100 combined team of mobile and regular policemen were on guard when the new speaker was elected. The parliamentary proceeding which was not more than two hours saw the election of the officers of the state Assembly.

Other officers are Hon. Taiwo Olatunbosun representing Irepodun/Ifelodun II as Deputy Speaker, Hon. Bobade Kayode Ikere 1 as majority leader, Hon. Tunji Akinyele, Oye II as Deputy majority leader, Hon. Sunday Eyeowa, Ijero as Chief-whip. And Hon. Muyiwa Abegunde Emure as Deputy Chief whip, Hon. Kola Fakiyesi Irepodun/Ifelodun II minority leader and Hon. Ayo Adekoya Benson Ekiti South-West II as minority whip.

In his acceptance speech after their inauguration Hon. Aderemi who was one of those denied some benefits by the previous regime in the Assembly promised to give members deserved attention. The new speakers, while restating the allegations against the former speaker Hon. Ajigbolamu said the new leadership "will co-operate with the executive and encourage sustained relationship."

He called on the former speaker and officers of the Assembly to work together for the benefit of those who elected them.

The success and the smooth change of the House leadership no doubt were the voice of Jacob and the hand of Esau at work. While the former speaker accused Fayose of being the brains behind his woes, the governor vehemently denied having hands in the impeachment of Hon. Ajigbolamu.

Nevertheless, the shadow which now chases the new leadership of the state Assembly is the governor’s bill to remove council elected officers with the stamp of the Assembly. Already, the new leadership has commenced debate on the bill which the governor had denied on several occasions that nothing of such existed before the Assembly.

The new team who observers believe is more radical than the former leadership Thursday July, 22 commenced debate on the bill. Though many of the lawmakers had kicked against the bill, the new leadership, rather than seek its outright death is asking for a modification, saying rather than "removal," it should be "suspension."

The clause in the bills says, "In this section misconduct means breach of oath of allegiance or oath of office of a member or a breach of the provision of the other regulation as directed by the government."

The lawmakers who took serious objection to the removal clause are seeking suspension power for the governor. Meanwhile, the controversial bill has been referred to committee stage in the house after passing through the third reading.

NBA scribe debunks rumour over Ekiti's Lagos propertyt   Back To Top

The Guardian, Friday, July 30, 2004

From Ifedayo Sayo, Ado-Ekiti

THE Secretary General of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Ade Adesina, has debunked the rumour over the acquisition of Lagos property by Ekiti State government.

The property located at Ojuolobun Street, Victoria Island, was acquired in year 2001 by the Adeniyi Adebayo administration at N385 million from A-Group of Companies Nigeria Ltd.

Soon after the acquisition, there were speculations that the property, now estimated at over N1 billion belonged to the father of the former governor, Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo (rtd).

The insinuation was dispelled by the former governor who claimed that it would amount to an insult to his family to sell its property to the state government.

Last week, the administration of Governor Ayo Fayose wrote a letter to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFEC), claiming that the firm, which sold the property, was not registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

It asked the commission to verify the actual owners of the property and the role played by officials of the former administration in its acquisition.

But Adesina, who appeared before a judicial probe panel investigating the spending of the last administration, said the firm, A-Group of Companies Nigeria Limited is a registered indigenous firm dealing in the purchase and sale of property in the country.

He disclosed that his legal firm handled the perfection of the legal documents on the property at N41,650,000, saying that in Lagos State, 41 per cent of the total cost of the property always goes into processing of relevant documents.

Adesina, who claimed that he flew into the country from London to clear the air on the controversy surrounding the property, said the initial Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) of the property got lost before another one was processed from Lagos State.

He maintained that being an indigene of the state, he came to the assistance of the state government to obtain another certificate of occupancy, which bears the name of the state government.

He told the panel that the original owner of the property is International Merchant Bank (IMB) before it was sold to A-Group of Companies.

On the allegation that the A-Group of Companies was not registered, Adesina said: "It is not true. The firm is a registered company dealing in property matters".

He gave the names of the directors as Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu, Mr. Solomon Aliyu and Mr. Giwa Aliyu, saying all transactions in respect of the property were transparent and ought not to have attracted any negative feelings from any quarter.

Parents advised on negative impact of television, internet   Back To Top

The PUNCH, Thursday, July 29, 2004

Akin Oyedele,Ado-Ekiti

Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Mrs. Feyisetan Fayose, has advised parents to be mindful of the type of programmes their children watch on television, just as she warned on the dangers of allowing them unfettered access to the internet.

The governor’s wife gave the advice in an interview with our correspondent during the presentation of prizes to outstanding pupils of SPEB Model Nursery and Primary School, Ado-Ekiti.

With the benefit of hindsight, she pointed out that most vices and delinquent behaviour among the youth were adapted from the television and internet.

Fayose also advocated compulsory enrolment for religious studies by students at elementary and secondary schools as a veritable means of promoting moral rectitude in the society.

To the operators of cyber- cafés, he urged them to turn back children from browsing, especially during school hours, while visit to pornographic sites should be discouraged among the adolescents because of the inherent negative influence.

Without the parents and guardians playing a supportive role in this regard, she however, noted that the campaign might not record the expected result.

Reacting to the recent sentencing of three teenagers to death by hanging for armed robbery, he stressed the need for the youth to shun company of friends who engage in anti-social behaviours.

She attributed the prevalent crime waves across the country to the products of undisciplined and morally bankrupt children who act as bad influence on their peers.

Parents were also advised to keep a close tab on their children, especially their movement from home and from school to nip the problem in the bud.

She restated the earlier ban on street trading during school hours, saying although the practice was tantamount to child labour, it thrived in the country as a result of poor standard of living among the people.

Fayose called on the stakeholders to play their part towards the drive for improvement of education standard in the state, in order to count themselves on the part of history.

Ekiti: Alleged killer-policemen may face trial   Back To Top

The PUNCH, Thursday, July 29, 2004

Akin Oyedele, Ado-Ekiti

Despite the refusal of the Ekiti State Police Command to publicly own up to the alleged complicity of his men in the gruesome murder of a 27-year-old engineer, Mr. Muyiwa Fapohunda-Popoola, the policemen fingered in the incident may have been arrested.

Faced with a glaring case of professional misconduct and insubordination on the part of the five plainclothes policemen, the command’s authority may have decided to put them through orderly room trial.

A source at the command told our correspondent that the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bashiru Azeez, gave the order having been inundated with calls from concerned individuals over the extra judicial killings.

A policeman, Mr. Femi Ogunlusi, who also lost his life during the incident, was said to have been killed as a result of poor handling of firearms by the detectives that trailed the “armed robbers.”

Ogunlusi, who was not part of the squad, was allegedly hit by a stray bullet fired by one of the policemen. He was said to be on a different mission around the area wearing his uniform.

This disproved the earlier claim by Azeez that the late policeman was killed during “an exchange of fire with the armed robbers,” since the unfortunate victims of the incident had nothing on them to suggest that they were criminals.

Meanwhile, the Ekiti State House of Assembly has summoned the police commissioner to appear before it on Thursday (today) to explain the circumstances leading to the attack on the victims, which led to the death of Fapohunda-Popoola.

Also summoned were the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, Mr. Hilary Opara, and the Divisional Police Officer in charge of the Okesa Division, Ado-Ekiti, Mr. Lasisi Akinlabi.

A statement on Wednesday by the Acting Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Speaker, Mr. Charles Akinola, added that the House also passed a resolution that the state government constituted a judicial panel of inquiry into the incident.

The deceased, including three others working with Prodem Nigeria Limited, a construction company currently working on the renovation of the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium, Ado-Ekiti, was last Saturday attacked by the police in a Honda Civic car belonging belonging to their boss, purporting them to be robbery suspects.

The statement said that the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Taiwo Olatunbosun, said to have witnessed the deceased bled to the death, was particularly peeved with the “deliberate killing” of the man by the police.

It read in part, “Olatunbosun told the House that in spite of his intervention before the death of the deceased, he was denied medical attention and kept incommunicado for one hour until he passed on.”

Other lawmakers condemned the despicable act, which the Speaker, Mr. Friday Aderemi, described “jungle justice,” noting that “the constitution presume an accused innocent until the contrary is proved.”

Ekiti Assembly Passes Bill on LGs   Back To Top

ThisDay: Wednesday, July 28, 2004

From Dipo Okunmuyide in Ado-Ekiti

Ekiti State House of Assembly has passed a new bill called Local Government Administration Amendment Law which according to the Speaker, Honourable Friday Aderemi is meant to curb corruption and ensure efficiency at the local government level.

The bill which was passed at the sitting of the House on Monday empowers the state governor, Mr Ayo Fayose to unilaterally suspend any council chairman from office for a maximum period of three months over misconduct.

According to the Speaker, the provision of the bill would not allow the executive to exercise the above power arbitrarily as he has to seek the consent of the legislature, adding that the bill equally replaced the removal power being sought by the governor to that of suspension.

He explained further that the bill had not in any way snatched the power of the council's legislature arms to remove or suspend their erring chairmen though with the final approval of the governor.

N452m property: Firm faults Ekiti govt on petition to EFCC e   Back To Top

Vanguard: Wednesday, July 28, 2004

By Wahab Abdulah

LAGOS— A REAL estate firm, A Group Properties Ltd, yesterday faulted Ekiti State government over a petition it wrote Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), saying it was baseless and embarrassing.

Alhaji Suleiman Adamu, administrative manager of the company, described in the petition to the anti-graft panel as unregistered over the purchase of the N452 million property in Lagos said: “Our company is a limited liability real estate company registered under the laws of Nigeria, carrying on the business of real estate in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja. The company is a major player in the real estate industry in Nigeria,” and described the Ekiti State government allegation as baseless.

Adamu said the company was registered in April 1998, “precisely April 23, with registration number RC 333781 and signed by the Registrar-General U.F. Abdullahi. We started with a share capital of N500,000 and in the year 2000, the share capital was increased to N10 million which is duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), ” adding: “The property in question originally belonged to the International Merchant Bank and the staff of the bank lived there for more than 10 years. It was from IMB that we bought the said property. After purchase, the property was completely reconstructed by G. Cappa Ltd. for about two years. It was after the reconstruction that the property was sold to Ekiti State government, through our agents, Olutoyi Ventures Ltd.”

He said his company was ready to take the property back from the government to end the controversies provided the government would refund all rents it had collected on the property.

In its reaction, Olutoyi Ventures, through its manager, Mr. Jide Imole, said the property was put for sale and prospective buyers showed up, including Ekiti State government. He said: “All the negotiations took place before us and Ekiti State” and that the “A-Group Properties is legally incorporated in Nigeria.”

Mr. Imole said the payment for the property was also made directly to the property owners and that his venture never collected any cheque from the state government.

Ekiti State government, weekend in a petition to the EFCC dated July 22, 2004 with reference No. EK/SSG/4T2/24, signed by Secretary to the State Government, Hon. Ade Alofe, alleged that a search conducted by the government revealed that no company bearing “A Group Properties Ltd,” was registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Abuja.

Police, firm differ over four 'robbery suspects'   Back To Top

The Guardian: Tuesday, July 27, 2004

From Ifedayo Sayo, Ado-Ekiti

THE police in Ado Ekiti, a construction firm and families of the accused have disagreed on the role played by four persons arrested by the Ekiti command for alleged robbery at the weekend.

While the police insisted that the suspects were bandits arrested after a gun duel, the principal partner of Prodel Engineering Company, Mr. Mfon Akpabio, said they were his workers handling the rehabilitation of Oluyemi Kayode Stadium.

His position has been corroborated by the families of the detainees.

Already, one of the accused shot in the leg by the police, Mr. Muyiwa Popoola, an engineer, had died at the State Specialist Hospital. Popoola reported died after bleeding in the police station for several hours without medical attention.

A police officer, Mr. Femi Ogunlusi, was reportedly killed by the suspected bandits.

Akpabio gave the names of the workers held by the police over the incident as Michael (an electrician), George Ibok (an accountant), Gabriel Okonkwo (a member of staff) and the late Popoola.

Governor Ayo Fayose and the Deputy Speaker of the Ekiti House of Assembly, Mr. Taiwo Olatunbosun, have reportedly waded into the matter, asking the police to release the suspects.

The police have, however, held on to them, claiming that they snatched a Mercedes Benz E-class belonging to one Bosun Akeju last Saturday.

The state Police Commissioner Mr. Basiru Azeez, said yesterday that the suspects were arrested after a gun duel in which a policeman, Ogunlusi, was killed.

Azeez told reporters in Ado-Ekiti that Akeju, the victim of the robbery, reported the incident at Ado-Ekiti police divisional headquarters, which prompted the officers to comb various parts of the town for the vehicle.

The vehicle was found abandoned on the new Ilawe Road, near the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Ado-Ekiti station.

The police chief added that later in the day, Akeju informed the police that he had sighted the suspected robbers in the town and joined some policemen in a vehicle to arrest them.

He said that attempts at arresting the robbers resulted in exchange of gunfire, which led to the death of Ogunlusi.

Azeez said that three of the robbers were arrested while one of them escaped with bullet wounds.

The escapee, Azeez said, was later arrested by some people and brought to the police station.

He confirmed that one of the suspects who received gunshots in the legs died at the State Specialist Hospital where he was taken to for medical attention.

But Akpabio told journalists yesterday that the police were economical with the truth.

He admitted that there was an armed robbery incident in the town as claimed by the police.

The robbers, according to the victim, came in an ash colour Nissan Bluebird while his detained workers rode in a Honda Civic car.

He added that at the scene of the suspects' arrest, they were not found with any arms and could not have engaged the police in a gun duel.

The firm chief insisted that the police made a mistake in arresting his workers and killing one of them.

Rather than owning up to their error, he lamented that the police were attempting to cover their misdeeds by claiming that the suspects engaged them in a gun duel.

Azeez confirmed that no guns were found on the suspects when they were arrested. He, however, said they might have kept the guns at another location.

Akpabio alleged that the bullets fired at the suspects hit the only police officer that died.

He also decried the refusal of the police to release the suspects for medical attention despite the intervention of Fayose and Olatunbosun.

He claimed that the police allowed Popoola to bleed to death before taking him to the hospital.

A relation of late Popoola, Mr. Olu Popoola, who works with the state radio corporation, said efforts to get the police to release his brother for medical attention failed.

Engineer Shot Dead   Back To Top

ThisDay: Tuesday, July 27, 2004

From Dipo Okunmuyide in Ado-Ekiti

An engineer supervising the renovation of Ado-Ekiti Township Stadium, Mr Muyiwa Fapohunda-Popoola, was over the weekend shot by police and allowed to bleed to death after he was allegedly arrested as an armed robbery suspect.

Investigation conducted by THISDAY revealed that Muyiwa who was recently employed as a civil engineer by Prodem Nigeria Limited, the construction company handling the stadium, was arrested by police with three other staff of the company around 6 0'clock on Saturday evening near the Post Office in Ado-Ekiti.

Relatives and associates of the victim and the state police command are now engaged in war of words over the true identity of the four men allegedly arrested for armed robbery.

Briefing newsmen in his office yesterday, the state's Commissioner of Police, Mr Bashiru Azeez, narrated how some gang of robbers attempted to snatch a Mercedes Benz E-Class belonging to one Chief Bosun Akeju, an Ado-Ekiti-based businessman at Texaco Filling Station on Iyin road around 5 p.m. on Saturday.

According to Azeez, the owner of the snatched vehicle quickly alerted some of his friends on GSM line who in turn contacted the Ado-Ekiti police division following which a team of detectives and anti-robbery patrol team were sent on the trail of the robbers.

Robbers kill cop, IG wants states to help fund police   Back To Top

The Guardian: Monday, July 26, 2004

From Ifedayo Sayo (Ado-Ekiti) and Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna)

A POLICEMAN was at the weekend killed in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital during a gun duel with suspected armed robbers.

Also at the weekend, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Tafa Balogun asked state governors to make provisions for the police in their yearly budgets.

The five robbers, who arrived in Ado-Ekiti on Saturday morning, had allegedly converged at a popular cosmetic shop very close to the post-office, where they were sighted drinking beer.

They started their operation later in the afternoon at Basiri area of the town, where they reportedly snatched a Mercedes Benz E Class from the owner of a filling station located on Iyin Road.

The victim was said to have reported the incident at the state Police Command, prompting the officers to go out in a large number after the armed robbers.

After combing the entire town and its environs, the police reportedly found the vehicle abandoned along new Ilawe by-pass.

But the robbers, however, ran out of luck at about 5.30 p.m when a policeman reported that he had sighted the robbers in a green Honda Civic car. He quickly alerted the Ado-Ekiti divisional police officer, one Mr. Azeez.

Azeez was said have mobilised his men and trailed the robbers in a sports utility van (SUV) and another vehicle belonging to a police officer in the state command.

The team caught up with the robbers after they were in a heavy traffic on Old Garage Road in the town.

The police then apprehended the robbers, who were not aware that they were being chased.

Believing that the end had come, the robbers started shooting to enable them to get away. In the process, they shot a policeman in uniform.

After two minutes of gun duel, the police successfully rounded up the five robbers. The leader of the robbers sustained serious injuries during the exchange with the police and died before medical treatment could come his way.

The only policeman who was killed by the robbers was said to be preparing for his wedding with another female police officer. The wedding had been fixed for next month.

The remains of the policeman have been deposited at the state Specialist Hospital mortuary.

Efforts to get the state police commissioner to speak on the robbery failed as he was said to be unavailable.

The Inspector-General, who was in Kaduna State at the weekend to commission 50 vehicles and several motorcycles purchased by the state government for the use of the police and other security agencies, stated that democracy could only thrive in a secure environment.

Balogun said: "If the 36 state governors agree to make adequate provisions to support crime-fighting in the country, this will go along way in checking criminal activities."

He added that the Federal Government alone was not capable of meeting the financial requirements of the police.

Balogun described crime-fighting as capital-intensive and noted that it was not possible to have a crimeless society.

He said: "We should have a tolerable level of crime for people to go about their normal businesses. We (police) have the human resources but we lack materials. The Federal Government alone cannot provide enough support for the police. Security is the foundation of governance, without security there can never be good governance. State governors should see it as a good thing to provide support for the police in their annual budgets," he stated.

The state Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi remarked that the state and local government councils jointly provided funds for the purchase of the vehicles and motorcycles, which were bought for the use of security agencies in the state to check criminals.

Two die in robbery operation   Back To Top

The Punch, Monday July 26, 2004

Akin Oyedele, Ado-Ekiti

Two persons, including a policeman, were confirmed dead on Saturday after a robbery incident at the Post Office area of Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.

While the policeman, Mr. Femi Ogunlusi, was killed by the bullets of the armed robbers, the other victim, Mr. Muyiwa Popoola, was said to have bled to death as a result of gunshot injuries sustained during the robbery operation.

An eyewitness told our correspondent that the victim, allegedly shot by the police, was said to have been mistaken for one of the armed robbers and was later taken to the Okesa Division of the state police command, where he bled to death.

Popoola, the source said, was an engineering graduate of the University of Ibadan and a relation to a broadcaster with the Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State.

It was gathered that pleas by the broadcaster for the police to release the deceased for medical attention were rebuffed until he died at the police station.

The intervention of a principal officer of the state House of Assembly who was said to have also pleaded with the police to release the boy for medical attention also fell on deaf hears.

At a stage, it was gathered that the police authority insisted on interrogating the victim, in the process dragging him to the interrogation room in his poor state, where he was alleged to have given up the ghost.

Alarmed by the development, the police were alleged to have at that stage reluctantly released him for medical attention and was taken to the State Specialist Hospital where doctors confirmed him dead.

The robbers, said to be five in number were said to have earlier snatched a Mercedes Benz E class at Basiri area of Ado-Ekiti before they later moved to post office area of the town where they snatched a green Honda Civic car with a Lagos number.

Acting on a tip-off, the police were said to have chased the hoodlums to the post office area of the town where the armed robbers were caught in a traffic hold-up.

In the ensuing gun duel one of the policeman, said to be the only person in uniform was allegedly shot dead by the armed robbers, while the second victim shot on the leg was said to be a passer-bye mistaken for one of the armed robbers.

The late policeman was reportedly preparing for his wedding to another female police fixed for next month, which had allegedly received the blessing of the command’s authority.

The source informed our correspondent that Popoola just secured employment two months ago with an engineering firm in Ado-Ekiti.

It was gathered that, the late engineer who all along had been residing with his parents at Ikere-Ekiti, was on his way to pay for a new accommodation he had just secured in the area before he ran into the cross fire between the police and the armed robbers.

When our correspondent visited the Okesa Division of the State Police Command on Sunday, the Divisional Police Officer Mr. Lasisi Akinlabi declined to comment on the incident, while the recovered Honda Civic was seen parked at the station with the tyres deflated.

He said, “I’m a civil servant and I’m not in the position to brief you on the incident. Wait till tomorrow and find out the details from the Police Public Relations Officer or the Commissioner who are authorized to speak to the press.”

Meanwhile, the PPRO and the commissioner were not at their desk when our correspondent visited the command’s headquarters

Ekiti elders decry crisis in state Assembly   Back To Top

The Guardian: Monday, July 26, 2004

From Ifedayo Sayo, Ado-Ekiti

THE Ekiti Council of Elders has decried the recent crisis in the state House of Assembly which has led to the removal of the principal officers, including the Speaker, Mr. Sola Ajigbolamu.

The council, in a statement at the weekend by its Chairman, Bureau of Publicity, Chief Idowu Odeyemi, said the crisis had been a source of embarrassment to all Ekiti people.

Besides, the crisis has the potential of affecting the relationship with the executive, as well as threatening the relative peace the state may have been enjoying after the recently concluded governorship election petition.

The council noted that the cause of the crisis was the refusal of the sacked leadership to pass into law a new bill on council administration, which would allow the state Governor Ayodele Fayose, to remove any erring council chairman.

The bill, according to the council, was unnecessary particularly when it is coming on the heels of alleged illegal deductions by the state governor from council's monthly allocations.

"Whatever the intervention of the governor is in wanting to have the bill passed into law, recent developments have made the bill controversial and should, therefore, be withdrawn in the interest of peace of Ekiti State and because of the tension it has generated in the polity", it said.

The statement advised the state lawmakers against "unnecessary confrontation" with the state executive but urged them to be firm and stand by their oath of office, passing only those laws that promote peace and good governance and which are consistent with the 1999 Constitution.

Aiyede agog for monarch   Back To Top

The Punch: Sunday, July 25, 2004

Akin Oyedele

The sleepy town of Aiyede, in Oye Local Government Area of Ekiti State went agog on Thursday, when some indigenes of the town trooped to the palace of the embattled traditional ruler of the town Oba Adeleye Oridagbemi to pledge their loyalty and support for his continued reign.

In a rare display of solidarity the indigenes and the the only surviving kingmaker, the Obadofin of Aiyede, nonagenarian Peter Afolaogun, denounced the on-going legal tussle said to be threatening the peace of the town.

Passing a vote of confidence on the traditional ruler, Chairman of the Elders Forum, Chief Olajide Ajayi contended that the appointment of kingmakers was in the first place alien to the tradition of the town.

The head of Atta Esubiyi the only ruling house in the town, Chief Joseph Elegbeleye, who led about 50 others from the ruling house to the palace, explained that the involvement of the state government which appointed warrant chiefs after the ruling House had already chosen Orisagbemi, led to the present crisis in the town. All the same, Elegbeleye said the crowning of the king had the full support and backing of the ruling house, having met all the requirements to ascend to the then vacant stool.

The leader of the women group, Olorobinrin, Mrs. Adebimpe Osasona maintained that the town had witnessed tremendous development in the more than ten years that the sitting monarch ruled.

Speaking in a similar vein, Chairman of Aiyede Progressive Youth Movement, Mr. Olu Omotosho said the king had during his reign facilitated the establishment of Science College, construction of Aiyede road, as well as enhanced stability of electricity supply to the town.

The people revealed that the king had spent close to N4 million of his personal money on the renovation of the palace. Fielding questions from newsmen after the occasion, the chairman of the elders’ forum said all entreaties made to placate the king’s challenger, Chief James Osho to accept the peoples choice had failed. Osho had in 1997 requested an Ado-Ekiti High Court to declare the appointment of warrant chiefs in the town illegal and unconstitutional.

The court granted the prayer, including an order setting aside all actions already taken by the warrant chiefs toward the installation of a new Attah of Aiyede.

Dissatisfied with the ruling, the incumbent king went to the Appeal Court in Ilorin, where he failed in is bid to upturn the judgment of the lower court. Orisagbemi had since filed another appeal at the Supreme Court, seeking an order to set aside the judgment of the lower trial courts and thereby save his position.

Ekiti pledges assistance to UNICEF programmes   Back To Top

Daily Independent: Friday, July 23, 2004

By David Atalese Special Correspondent, Ado-Ekiti

Ekiti State government has pledged its continued assistance to the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF)- assisted programmes in the state.

The Governor, Ayodele Fayose, gave the pledge while declaring open a two-day state level review meeting of EGN/ UNICEF Country Programme of Operations 2004- 2007 in Ado-Ekiti.

Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Ade Alofe, the governor said since the programmes focused mainly on the lives of children and women in the society, the state government would also pay its counterpart funding.

He urged all the programme officers to put in more zeal in order to ensure better performance of the programme to justify the assistance given by UNICEF, state and local governments.

Earlier in his address of welcome, the Permanent Secretary of the State Planning Commission, Mr. Lanre Aribisala, said the meeting would take stock of the performance of the programme and its impact on the target group and suggest ways of improvement.

In another development, the state government has called on contractors working on its roads to execute the projects according to specifications.

The State Commissioner for Works and Transport, Chief Dele Okeya, who made the call while inspecting the Ikere-Ise-Emure road, said the state government would not hesitate to blacklist any contractor that performs below expectation.

Don Slumps, Dies   Back To Top

ThisDay: Friday, July 23, 2004

Ekiti From Dipo Okunmuyide in Ado-Ekiti

Tragedy struck in Ado-Ekiti on Tuesday when a Professor with the University of Ado-Ekiti (UNAD), slumped in a popular drinking joint on Ajilosun area of the state capital and died immediately.

There was confusion at the relaxation joint owned by an aide of the immediate past governor of the state, when Professor Olalere Akande, aged 52, who has been a regular customer to the pub suddenly collapsed after sweating profusely.

Those at the joint quickly rushed Akande to the state Specialist Hospital in Ado-Ekiti after a failed attempt to revive him.

Doctors at the hospital however confirmed him dead, suspecting cardiac arrest.

A Professor of Botany, late Akande until his death was the Dean of Post Graduate School of UNAD and was born at Ogbomoso in Oyo State.

Meanwhile, the authorities of UNAD have made a formal announcement of the death of the professor who was described as one of the most hardworking, courageous and dedicated staff of the university.

A statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the university, Mr Ajibade Olubunmi and made available to newsmen in Ado-Ekiti stated that: "The Vice-Chancellor, Management and entire community of the university announce with deep regrets the passing on of Professor Olalere Akande."

The unfortunate incident, according to report happened at about 9 p.m. on Tuesday night when the professor left his house which was few metres away to relax at the joint.

He is survived by a wife, Mrs Taiwo Akande and three children.

Ekiti lawmakers oppose bill on removal of council chiefs   Back To Top

The Guardian: Friday, July 23, 2004

From Ifedayo Sayo, Ado Ekiti

E KITI State lawmakers yesterday opposed the proposed amendment to the state local government bill, which would allow the Governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose to remove any erring council chairman or councillor.

Debating the bill, which had been criticised as being against the 1999 Constitution, Mr. Tope Ademiluyi (PDP Ekiti West 1) said the Ekiti Local Government Bill 2000 had already empowered the governor to suspend any erring council chairman after obtaining two third majority approval of the Assembly.

He said that the governor should not be vested with another sweeping power on the council chairmen, adding that instead the assembly should rather replace the word "removal" with "suspension" in the interest of justice.

A clause in the bill reads: "Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 23 of the principal law, the governor may remove from office the chairman of any local government for misconduct.

"The Governor shall, however, within two weeks from the date of removal of the chairman from office forward to the House of Assembly reasons for such removal for approval or otherwise."

But Ademiluyi stressed that the governor should only be invested with the power to suspend any council chairman found guilty of misconduct for a period of three months.

He added that the state governor should also notify the state assembly of such decision after which the assembly can either approve or reject such decision.

Speaking in the same vein, the Minority Leader, Mr. Kola Pakoyesi argued that the removal clause should be expunged from the bill in the interest of justice and fair play.

Mr. Oluyemi Olatunji (PDP Moba1) queried why the governor should be empowered to unilaterally sack an elected council chief before seeking the approval of the assembly. He said "we represent the people of Ekiti State and all eyes are watching us. Removal is too much a penalty for any erring council chairman.

The Majority Leader, Mr. Babade Kayode, however, said it would not be appropriate to ask the governor to seek the approval of the assembly before the suspension of council chairman who run foul of his oath of office.

Sule Longe said it was only appropriate to allow the governor to suspend erring council chairman and later refer to the assembly for approval through simple majority vote.

The Speaker, Mr. Friday Aderemi later referred the bill to the Ad-hoc Committee of the assembly headed by Mr. Tunji Akinyele, the deputy majority leader.

Other members of the committee are Segun Onreye, Sule Longe, Bode Adewole and Tola Esan.

Court sentences three to death for robbery   Back To Top

The Punch, Friday July 23, 2004

Akin Oyedele, Ado-Ekiti

An Ado-Ekiti High Court on Thursday sentenced three men to death having been found guilty of conspiracy and robbery.

The three, Tayo Adeosun, Iyiola Diran and Johnson Oni, described as notorious armed robbers, were arrested at Erio-Ekiti on March 16, 2002.

The fourth accused, Mr. Gabriel Olajide, said to be a pastor in one of the Pentecostal churches in the town was however, discharged and acquitted for want of evidence.

The prosecutor, Mr. Herbert Adeyemi, informed the court that the condemned men on the day they were arrested conspired and violently robbed several people at Erio-Ekiti.

In her judgment, Justice Monisola Abodunde, contended that the prosecution had proved its case against the accused men beyond reasonable doubt.

She noted that the state had witnessed many violent robbery incidents in the past, which called for serious concern among residents of the state.

Abodunde said, “There are sufficient facts to substantiate the case of the prosecution in this instance. I am of the view that the prosecution has proved its case against the accused persons.”

The judge maintained that the punishment meted to the three would serve as a deterrent to others and go a long way in ensuring that parents were alive to their responsibilities on their children.

She attributed the surge in criminal activities in the country to lack of moral rectitude and the inability of the parents to monitor the movement of their children and the company they keep.

From the evidence before her, she declared, the parents of the condemned robbers could not determine their whereabouts during the time they committed the crime.

Abodunde maintained that the ready excuse of joblessness as the reason for taking to crime was not a plausible one that could warrant anybody to dispossess others of their valuables, sometimes maiming or killing their victims.

She added, “If we want to sanitize the society, parents, especially mothers, have a lot of work to do in bringing their children to the required moral standard.”

Govt approves repair of Ekiti, Kwara link road   Back To Top

The Guardian: Thursday, July 22, 2004

From Ifedayo Sayo, Ado Ekiti

EKITI Governor Ayo Fayose yesterday faulted insinuations in some quarters that he was responsible for the removal of Mr. Sola Ajigbolamu as the Speaker of the State House of Assembly.

The governor told journalists in Ado-Ekiti that the general opinion in the House of Assembly was that the former leadership was weak and that it was, therefore, necessary to change all the principal officers.

Fayose, who also criticised the media for being unfair to him, reminded those pointing accusing fingers at him that he had earlier saved Ajigbolamu from being removed last December by his colleagues.

He stated that his intervention then was to ensure the stability of his administration.

He maintained that he abstained from intervening in the removal of the Speaker on Tuesday because he was convinced that the reason for his impeachment was to pave way for a new leadership that would meet the yearnings of the legislators.

Besides, he said there was no way he could pitch his tent with the former Speaker and his six supporters when 19 legislators had made up their minds to remove them.

He explained that any body in leadership position must learn to win the support of the followers in order not to lose popularity.

The former Speaker was dropped on Tuesday following the removal of other principal officers of the state House of Assembly.

The new Speaker is Mr. Friday Aderemi, whose election was supported by 19 of the 26-member Assembly.

Reflecting on the bad publicity he had been receiving in the past year, Fayose said the Nigerian press had not been fair to him. He stated that the press had ignored his positive achievements in government.

The governor contended that his detractors had been unduly attended to by the press, pointing out that regardless of whatever was published about him, he remained popular with the grassroots.

He alleged that journalists had abandoned the ethics of the profession while reporting news items that had to do with him by refusing to hear his own side of negative stories.

He stressed that the media might do untold damage to the nation's democracy if practitioners refused to balance their stories before publication.

He maintained that he remained one of the best governors in the country, especially in the South-West, having met the needs of the people and therefore, would not be bothered by what journalists wrote against him.

On why he was described as the most controversial governor in the country, Fayose said the label was that of the press, which had refused to see anything good in what he had done for the people.

The governor cautioned the press against opposing him and his administration, saying that he was in government to put smiles on the faces of the downtrodden.

Fayose Clears Air on Speaker's Removal   Back To Top

ThisDay: Thursday, July 22, 2004

From Dipo Okunmuyide in Ado-Ekiti

Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti yesterday absolved himself of complicity in the removal of the former speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr Sola Ajigbolamu and other principal officers from office.

Fayose during monthly media chat at the Government House in Ado-Ekiti, maintained that he travelled out of the state before the weekend and came back after the impeachment has been effected.

"Whoever becomes the speaker does not affect me either negatively or positively. I am not involved in the activities of the house because I am the father of everybody in the state," he said.

Fayose explained why he saved the former speaker from impeachment earlier plotted against him in December 2003, saying he took the action because of the timing as himself and the party were still in court at that time.

Fayose dismissed the insinuation that the speaker was removed because he refused to do his bidding in respect of a bill on local government sent by the executive to the House of Assembly, saying the removal of the speaker was the wish of the majority members of the house.

He seized the opportunity to condemn the opposition especially the Alliance for Democracy for preparing and circulating documents containing fictitious claims about his government and advised the media to be wary of using such documents or press releases without investigating their contents.

Meanwhile, the removed speaker, Mr Ajigbolamu has gone underground as all efforts to contact him proved abortive.

Reports reaching THISDAY revealed that Ajigbolamu who is yet to release the official vehicles attached to him hurriedly packed some few belongings and left his official quarters after returning home on Monday. He was said to have adjourned the sitting of the house till Wednesday.

Ekiti Assembly Speaker Impeached   Back To Top

ThisDay: Wednesday, July 21, 2004

From Dipo Okunmuyide in Ado-Ekiti

The will of the majority prevailed yesterday when a sweeping change was effected in the leadership of Ekiti State House of Assembly with Honourable Friday Aderemi emerging as the new speaker He replaced Honourable Sola Ajigbolamu.

The only surviving principal officer was the Deputy Speaker, Honourable Taiwo Olatunbosun who was spared in the impeachment drama which started last Friday and reached its climax yesterday.

Former Speaker of the House, Honourable Ajigbolamu had adjourned sitting after a failed attempt to remove him on Monday but the decision did not go down well with the opposing legislators who were in the majority.

The new majority leader of the house, Honourable Babade Kayode told journalists after the election of a new speaker that the former speaker did not follow the laid down rules and regulations while effecting the adjournment on Monday, saying it was not properly done.

He explained that those championing the change of leadership seized the opportunity of the irregularities in the adjournment to reconvene the sitting where the former speaker was removed yesterday.

At yesterday's sitting, the new majority leader, Honourable Babade Kayode representing Ikere-Ekiti Constituency I moved the motion for the impeachment of the speaker which was seconded by Honourable Kola Fakiyesi who is the minority leader from Irepodun/Ifelodun Constituency I.

The sitting was conducted without the pressure of the former speaker and his six supporters who were mostly principal officers who were equally affected by the change leaving only the 19 members championing the impeachment to participate in the voting.

Subsequently, Honourable Bode Adewole from Ikere Constituency II nominated Honourable Friday Aderemi from Ido/Osi Constituency I as the new speaker and seconded by Honourable Ayo Benson from Ekiti South West to the endorsement of the remaining 17 members present at the sitting.

In his acceptance speech the new speaker assured members that his leadership will be open to constructive criticism and urged those in the opposing side to join hand with the new leaders in moving the state forward.

At a special parliamentary session held after the election of the new speaker, the new majority leader, Honourable Babade Kayode promised that the new leadership will correct all the inadequacies of the past 13 months, saying the removal of the former has nothing to do with the bill on local government reform sent by the executive to the house.

He explained that the former speaker was removed for weak leadership, inefficiency and for polarising the house, adding that the assembly under his leadership had no direction, no vision and transparency.

Yesterday's sitting was done amidst tight security with heavy presence of both regular and anti-riot policemen and other security agencies who blocked the road leading to the House of Assembly and turned back vehicles from entering the venue.

Ekiti Speaker removed, new speaker takes Oath of Office   Back To Top

Vanguard: Wednesday, July 21, 2004

By Gbenga Ariyibi

ADO-EKITI— THE embattled Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Mr. Patrick Ajibolamu was yesterday removed and replaced with a new person, Mr. Friday Aderemi from Ido/Osi constituency of the State.

At a session presided over by the Deputy speaker, Mr. Taiwo Olatubosun, all the 19 lawmakers present at the floor of the House voted for the impeachment of the speaker.

However, Mr. Ajigbolamu and six of his ardent supporters did not show up at the floor of the House yesterday during the proceedings as he had, earlier adjourned sitting till today (Wednesday) during the House proceedings on Monday.

Amidst tight security, the House which had began the day’s proceeding at about 11.05am, before the Deputy speaker Mr. Taiwo Olatubosun called on the new Majority Leader, Babade Kayode (Ikere I) to announce the new development to the memb

The Majority Leader Mr. Babade therefore moved a motion for the impeachment of the speaker, while Mr. Bode Adewole (Ikere II) moved nomination of new speaker and was subsequently supported by Ayo Adekoya Benson, (Ekiti South West II).

The Majority Leader had earlier accused the Speaker, Mr. Ajigbolamu of visionless, rudderless and breach of oath of office and oath of allegiance, declaring that removing him would pave way for new focus for the legislature arm of government in the state. Speaking shortly after the Clerk of the House, Mr. Tunde Famoyegun administered oath of office and oath of allegiance to the new speaker. The new speaker promised to discharge his duty faithfully and carry all the members along.

He equally pledged to be punctual, assuring that welfare of his members would be paramount in his mind and called on the law makers to rally round him.

Meanwhile, the state governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose has reacted to the insinuation that he was the brain behind the impeachment of Mr. Ajigbolamu over his refusal to cooperate with him on the latest bill sent to the House. (Power to remove council chairmen,) saying he should not be linked with the problem in the House

“The governor which heads the executive, as defined by our constitution cannot by extension dictate to them in the legislature who should be speaker, and who not to be considered.

"In the case of Ekiti State House of Assembly, if the honourable members decided to change the house leadership, its purely internal affair of the house which does not have any input of the governor”.

Ekiti lawmakers exchange blows as bid to remove Speaker fails   Back To Top

Vanguard: Tuesday, July 20, 2004

By Gbenga Aribiyi

ADO-EKITI—Ekiti State House of Assembly yesterday witnessed a stormy session when a group of legislators insisted in removing the Speaker, Mr. Patrick Ajigbolamu, just as two legislators openly exchanged blows, after some heated arguments.

A group of 19 legislators had at the weekend met and deliberated on the removal of the principal functionaries of the House, including the Speaker, Mr. Patrick Ajigbolamu, alleging incompetence and dereliction of duties.

Matters reached the peak at the floor of the House yesterday when one of the legislators from Ikere Local Government area openly slapped the House Majority Leader, Mr. Sule Longe on the face.

However, the intervention of some legislators later restored sanity to the house which had to delay its sitting while the speaker appealed to his colleagues.

An attempt to remove the speaker however failed on the floor of house due to procedural error as Ajigbolamu’s supporters stood their ground that the rules of the House must be followed to the latter before a change could be effected in the leadership of the House.

A member of the House, Mr. Muyiwa Abegunde (PDP Emure) had moved the motion for the removal of the Speaker, alleging dereliction and ineptitude on the part of the speaker, adding that the House was in dire need of a new set of leaders to move the House forward.

His motion was supported by Mr. Benson Adekoya (NCP Ekiti South West II) who argued that the only condition for peace in the House was for the speaker to vacate his seat.

The Speaker however opposed him, noting that a due process must be followed before the motion can succeed. Citing section 92 of the 1999 constitution and the House Standing Order 48, which provided for the removal of the speaker and his deputy, he said that the House must be put on notice, before the motion can be entertained.

As at the time of filing this report, the House has retired to parliamentary meeting where the remaining principal officers of the House were said to have formally tendered their letters of resignation.

Ekiti Speaker Survives Impeachment   Back To Top

ThiaDay: Tuesday, July 20, 2004

From Dipo Okunmuyide in Ado Ekiti

Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Honourable Fola Ajigbolamu, yesterday survived impeachment bid against him even as the Assembly was engulfed in violence over the plan to change its leadership.

Moving the motion for impeachment, Mr. Muyiwa Abegunde, said the removal of the speaker became imperative because of his incapability and ineptitude to rule the Assembly, adding that they needed a new set of leaders to move the state forward.

His motion was supported by Mr. Benson Adekoya (representing Ekiti South-west II), who insisted that the only way peace could return to the Assembly was for the speaker to leave his seat for a new hand.

But the speaker countered him on the motion, pointing out that the due process for removing the speaker must be followed before the motion could be entertained.

Ajigbolamu drew the attention of the lawmakers to the section 92 of the 1999 Constitution and the Assembly standing Order 48 which provided for the removal of the speaker and his deputy.

He emphasised that the Assembly must be put on notice before the motion like any other motion before could be entertained.

The position of the speaker was supported by the Majority Leader, Mr. Sule Longe, who insisted that only a strict compliance with the provision of the constitution would make the Assembly to entertain the motion.

The Minority Leader, Mr. Kola Fakiyesi, (representing Ifelodun/Irepodun I) noted that the house should stick to the provision of the 1999 Constitution and allow the motion to be debated and decided upon.

Three other members, Honourable Ajaja, Mr. Lekan Osasowa and Mr. Gbadebo Ibuoye spoke in support of the speaker and urged the movers of the motion to go and do their home work well.

Row in Ekiti House over bid to remove Speaker   Back To Top

The Guardian: Tuesday, July 20, 2004

From Ifedayo Sayo, Ado-Ekiti

VIOLENCE erupted in the Ekiti State House of Assembly yesterday as opposing sides battled over the attempted removal of the Speaker, Mr. Sola Ajigbolamu. Amidst the exchange of hot words, a member from Ikere Council slapped the Majority Leader, Mr. Sule Longe.

The attempted removal however failed.

The crisis, which had gripped the House since last year, brimmed over yesterday when a People's Democratic Party (PDP) legislator, Mr. Muyiwa Abegunde, moved a motion for the removal of the Speaker - alleging inept leadership.

Abegunde's motion was supported by Mr. Benson Adekoya, National Conscience Party (NCP) Ekiti South, (Ward II) who insisted that the only way peace could return to the House was for the Speaker to vacate his office.

But the Speaker countered the motion pointing out that the due process for removing the Speaker must be followed before the motion could be entertained.

He drew the attention of the legislators to section 92 of the 1999 Constitution and the House Standing Order 48, which stipulated the procedure for the removal of the Speaker, among others.

He emphasised that the House must be put on notice before the motion could be entertained.

He was supported by the Majority Leader, who argued that only strict compliance with the provision of the Constitution would make the House to entertain the motion.

The Minority Leader, Mr. Kola Fakiyesi (AD Ifelodun/Irepodun I), said the House should stick to the provision of the 1999 Constitution and allow the motion to be debated and decided upon.

Three other speakers, Mr. Ajaja, Mr. Lelian Osasona and Mr. Gbadebo Ibuoye spoke in support of the Speaker and urged the movers of the motion to go and do their home work well.

But the supporters of the impeachment motion, who were apparently in the majority insisted that since the matter was brought under matters of public importance, the motion should be entertained.

The Speaker, relying on order 65 of the House standing rules immediately adjourned the sitting till Wednesday saying the rules must be followed.

But he did not adjourn the sitting until he spoke harshly against his adversaries, including the state Governor Ayo Fayose, pointing out that those behind his planned removal wanted to put the House in their pockets.

Ajigbolamu said the House should not do anything that would make it a laughing stock in the eyes of the public.

However, later yesterday at a parliamentary meeting, principal officers of the House were removed by their colleagues.

Those affected included the Majority Leader, Longe, Deputy Majority Leader, Mr. Deji Akinola, Chief Whip, Ibuoye and the Deputy Chief Whip, Mr. Bunmi Olugbade.

They were replaced by a new set of officers. They are Majority Leader, Mr. Babade Kayode, Deputy Majority Leader, Mr. Tunji Akinyede, Chief Whip, Mr. Sunday Eyeowa and Deputy Chief Whip, Abegunde.

A group of legislators had, last year, pushed for a change of leadership. But the support of Governor Fayose for the Speaker frustrated the attempt.

The recent crisis over a new local government bill sent to the House by the governor pitted the Speaker against him (governor), who insisted that the bill must be passed quickly into law.

The bill provides for the removal of any erring council chairman and councillor by the governor without following the procedure stipulated in the 1999 Consitution.

The Speaker and some legislators were reported to be against the bill, which they viewed as against the spirit of the 1999 Constitution.

The governor subsequently invited the Speakers of the other Houses of Assembly in the South-West last week to appeal to their counterpart in the state to pass the bill. The Speakers were however, unable to convince their colleague.

Osun/Ekiti electricity extension project completed   Back To Top

Daily Independent: Tuesday, July 20, 2004

By David Atalese Special Correspondent, Ado-Ekiti

The extension project of electricity supply from Ilesa in Osun State to Ekiti State has been completed.

The Special Assistant to Ekiti State Governor on Information, Mr. Kola Ajumobi, who made this known when he briefed reporters on the resolutions of the State Executive Council meeting in Ado-Ekiti, said the project would soon be commissioned.

Ajumobi said the Special Adviser to the Governor on Electricity and Communication, Mr. Kehinde Odebunmi, informed the State Executive Council that the project has been completed and was awaiting the consent of the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) Benin Zone authorities before it could be test-run and commissioned for use.

He explained that the extension project would serve the Irepodun/Ifelodun and Ekiti West local government areas when commissioned.

Ajumobi, who described the project as a temporary measure to boost power supply to Ekiti State, hinted that the Presidency has directed the Federal Ministry of Finance, to release money to the contractor handling the 132 KVA substation project, which he said, was the ultimate and lasting solution to the electricity problem in the state.

He said the council has mandated the Commissioner of Works, Chief Dele Okeya, to ensure that the SCC Nig. Limited, the contractor handling the rehabilitation of the Aramoko-Ikogosi-Erinjinyan road, returns to site soon.

He explained that the immediate past administration in the state awarded the road contract in January 2003 and has paid about N200 million out of the N944 million-contract sum.

Ajumobi, who said the contractor has abandoned the project, said Government has resolved to ensure speedy completion of the project.

The special assistant hinted that Governor Ayo Fayose has directed the state Ministry of Works to construct bumps at the dangerous bends along Ado-Iyin road, which was notoriously called "Akonasan" within 7 days to forestall further accident on the road.

He said the government has approved the re-constitution of the State Boundary Commission under the Chairmanship of the Deputy Governor, Mr. Abiodun Aluko.

He said the boundary commission was expected to work in conjunction with a technical committee to ensure the resolution of inter and intra state boundary disputes, among others.

Three policemen detained in Ekiti   Back To Top

The Punch: Monday July 19, 2004

Akin Oyedele, Ado-Ekiti

An inspector with the Ekiti State Police Command, who allegedly shot a commercial bus driver and a female passenger along Aramoko-Ilesa Road about two months ago, is among the three policemen currently being detained at the command for various offences.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bashiru Azeez, who recently assumed duty at the command, said this while fielding questions from newsmen in Ado-Ekiti on the ongoing reform at the command since he became the helsman.

Azeez said the explanation offered by the offending police officer for shooting the victims was not convincing, given the provisions of Police First Order 237 that clearly spelt out the circumstances under which a policeman should use firearm.

He said, ”I’ve told him that his job is gone. He was penny wise, pound foolish, because he had up to date paid more than N30,000 hospital bill on the shot victims because of the N20 he wanted to collect.”

Azeez said mounting of road blocks had been abolished across the state to avert a recurrence of the incident and in a bid to rid the command of corrupt officers.

Henceforth, he said any policeman caught extorting money from motorists was on his own, adding that monitoring units would be set up to enforce the new order to determine the rate of compliance and effective-ness.

For criminal-minded individuals that might want to capitalise, on the no-road-block order to engage in nefarious activities, the commissioner, however, warned that police would still undertake routine checks on the roads.

The police boss warned motorists, especially commercial vehicle operators, against further offering of bribe to recalcitrant police officers who might still be indefferent to the latest order.

Principal officers in Ekiti Assembly may resign   Back To Top

The Punch: Monday July 19, 2004

Akin Oyedele, Ado-Ekiti

The crisis of confidence between Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose, and members of the state House of Assembly may culminate in a mass resignation of the principal officers as the House reconvened on Monday (today), after a five-week recess.

A source informed our correspondent that the members had been under intense pressure to bow to the several dictates of the executive, which some of the members considered inimical to the principle of separation of powers and due process.

The source cited the example of last week’s hurried recall of the members from recess with the aim of making them give accelerated consent to the local government adminis-tration bill passed by the executive.

A major crack was said to have emerged among the members, with some members insisting on due process and a thorough debate on the bill before it could be eventually passed.

Another bill said to be pending before the House included the one seeking an amendment to the law setting up the State Independent Electoral Commission.

It sought to drag petitions arising from the conduct of local government poll before a court of higher jurisdiction, rather than the lower court where it presently terminates.

Fayose was said to be seeking executive powers to remove errant local government chairmen from office without a recourse to the council, statutorily empowered to impeach a chairman.

The reluctance of the members to give express assent to the bill after their recall from the recess was said to have led to the current attrition between the members and the governor.

At a meeting held on Saturday by some of the members, a source confided in our correspondent that top on the agenda was debate on resignation of the members to save them from possible removal on Monday.

Fayose replies AD   Back To Top

The Punch: Sunday, July 18, 2004

KUNLE OWOLABI

EKITI State government has replied the Alliance for Democracy (AD), which has lately been criticising Governor Ayo Fayose’s administration, describing the party “as a drowning chicken battling against tidal waves.”

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, alleged that Ekiti AD has been fabricating lies against the governor after its electoral loss last year.

It stated that the administration did not believe in deceiving the people, hence its policy of transparency and accountability in managing public resources, especially funds.

“If Fayose’s administration is earning N30 million monthly from internally generated revenue, it will be suicidal to say it is realising N100 million, knowing full well that it must account for the balance to the public.

“We do not intend to rule by deceit, we believe in reality,” the statement stressed.

Meanwhile, the government has contributed the sum of N85 million as its share of the severance benefit towards offsetting the salaries of the workers laid off by the Sketch Newspaper.

According to the statement, a sum of N4.25 million was paid as the first instalment on May 28, 2004, with a Standard Trust Bank cheque, while the second instalment paid was N4.2 million.

Restating its commitment to the importance of reviving Sketch, the government in the statement disclosed that the balance of the second instalment, amounting to N50,000, was paid last week.

Ekiti Promotes 1,500 LG Workers   Back To Top

ThisDay: Saturday, July 17, 2004

From Dipo Okunmuyide in Ado-Ekiti

Ekiti State Local Government Service Commission has promoted 1,500 workers across the 16 councils in the state, while several others have been downgraded for their involvement in financial scam within the past one year.

Chairman of the commission, Chief Dayo Okondo in a chat with newsmen in Ado-Ekiti said the promotion was carried out in a bid to ensure equity and fairplay in the local government system.

Okondo said the commission would soon release another batch of promotion within the next few weeks, saying the commission under his tenure in the past one year has carried out major reforms that brought innovations to the financial and administrative set ups.

According to him, the reforms have gone a long way in preventing and reducing fraudulent practices among various categories of workers in the local government system.

Ekiti Police Boss Abolishes Check Points   Back To Top

ThisDay: Saturday, July 17, 2004

From Dipo Okunmuyide in Ado-Ekiti

New police boss in Ekiti State, Mr Bashiru Azeez has abolished mounting of road blocks by policemen in the command, saying a special task force will be set up to arrest those involved in illegal checkpoints.

Mr Azeez in a chat with journalists in his office over the weekend also warned policemen in the state against extortion and appealed to members of the public, especially commercial vehicle operators to stop offering N20 notes to policemen at checkpoints.

"Let me formally announce that I have abolished road blocks in the state. If they have been existing before, I don't want to see them again," he stated.

The Commissioner of Police disclosed that an inspector who was recently arrested after shooting a commercial vehicle operator along Aramoko/Ado-Ekiti road about two months ago is still facing trial at the state's headquarters, adding that the officer may be dismissed from the force.

Azeez who explained further that the command has expended over N30,000 on the medical expenses of the driver and other passengers who were injured by bullet wounds warned other trigger happy policemen against indiscriminate shooting of defenceless citizens.

On the allegation that the force has been infiltrated by miscreant and hardened criminals, the police boss said President Olusegun Obasanjo ordered the Inspector-General to carry out a special screening exercise to flush out those who were not properly recruited and those who could not meet up with standard condition of enlistment.

Fayose Clears Doctors' Salary Arrears   Back To Top

ThisDay: Saturday, July 17, 2004

From Dipo Okunmuyide in Ado-Ekiti

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayo Fayose has released N5 million for the payment of 24 months salary arrears owed medical doctors in the state by the immediate past administration.

Announcing this during a courtesy call on him by representatives of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in Ekiti state at his office in Ado-Ekiti, Fayose said his administration is striving to offset the debts of the past administration.

He commended the medical doctors for accepting N5 million out of the N7.2 million owed them by the state saying government would utilise the remaining N2.2 million for the provision of other services that can benefit the people.

Chairman of the state's NMA, Dr. Joshua Oguntoye thanked the governor for the gesture and pledged a renewed dedication to duty by members of his association in the state.

Meanwhile, Governor Fayose has commended the British Department of International Development (DFID) for supporting programmes aimed at improving the standard of living of people in the state.

Fayose was speaking at the launch of the state's Rural Access Programme (ERAP), a DFID programme in Ado-Ekiti on Thursday and appealed to local governments in the state to take an active role in the implementation of the programme since most of the projects will be located in their areas.

Fayose tasks Ekiti Assembly on child's rights bill   Back To Top

Daily Independent Online: Friday, July 16, 2004

By David Atalese Special Correspondent, Ado-Ekiti

Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has urged the state House of Assembly to expedite action on the passage of the Child's Right Bill pending before it to enable the government implement laws on children's rights.

He made the plea in Ado Ekiti while signing the 2004 UNICEF programme implementation agreement for Ekiti State Government.

He commended UNICEF for impacting positively on the lives of Ekiti people with its previous intervention programmes in four communities in Ekiti West and Oye Local Council areas.

Fayose, who noted the inadequate water supply in the state in spite of the administration's water scheme solicited UNICEF's assistance through its water and sanitation (WATSAN) project to boost water supply in the state.

Earlier, the UNICEF Assistant Representative, Mr. Roger Botralahy, disclosed that an Ekiti State - based consultant has been appointed to facilitate the prompt implementation of WES projects.

Botralahy highlighted areas of possible assistance to the state government under the new agreement to include training of state and local government staff, workers at community level, provision of equipment and materials as well as cash support for activities, among others.

Fayose, Ekiti Speaker crisis deepens   Back To Top

Daily Independent : Friday, July 16, 2004

By David Atalese Special Correspondent, Ado-Ekiti

The crisis of confidence between the Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose and Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr. Sola Ajigbolamu, deepened on Thursday as the governor was said to have ordered him to terminate the appointment of all the assembly's principal officers.

Daily Independent learnt that the legislators, after deliberating on their earlier meeting with the governor, however resolved not to sack any of their principal officers.

The legislators were also said to have resolved not to entertain the bill earlier sent to them by the governor, describing it as illegal and unconstitutional.

One of the law makers who spoke with the Daily Independent in Ado Ekiti on Thursday, said the legislators held a closed door meeting with the governor on Wednesday night during which the governor directed the removal of all except two of the principal officers of the assembly. Fayose was said to have further ordered the Speaker to remove Mr. Kola Fakiyesi, minority leader of the House and the only member of the Alliance for Democracy (AD).

Those the governor wanted to remain in their posts, according to sources, were Mr. Olubunmi Olugbade, the deputy majority leader and, Mr. Taiwo Olatunbosun, the deputy speaker who were said to be his loyalists. The source alleged that Fayose told them (legislators) specifically that the two legislators should be spared because they briefed him on their discussions with other speakers from the South West, except Lagos State. During the discussion, the Speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly, Mrs. Titi Oseni, was said to have told them that the Ogun State Government gave her N2 million as monthly imprest while that of Ondo State, Mr. Victor Olabintan, also claimed that he received N1.7 million every month against N500, 000 being received by the Ekiti House of Assembly speaker.

Consequently, the Ekiti State legislators condemned the allowance given to them as "peanut". When the Daily Independent visited the assembly complex on Thursday, all the Legislators were said to have moved to the party secretariat to hold meeting with the leaders of the party.

Fake Admission: Ekiti Varsity Expels 412   Back To Top

ThisDay Friday, July 16, 2004

From Juliana Taiwo in Abuja

Senate of the University of Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria has expelled 412 students for securing admission with fraudulent entry qualification.

In a paid advertisement yesterday and signed by the school's Registrar, M. O. Ogunniyi the highest number of 155 came from the Business Admin department in the regular students category, followed by Banking and Finance department with 114 and 51 from the Business Admin department in the part time programme category.

Others shown the door also came from the departments of English (1), History (1), English Education (1), Economics Edu-cation (2), Electrical Electronics (7),Civil Engineering (3), Mechcanical Engineering (3), Law (5), Account (44), BFN (23), Economics (37), Philosiphy (1), Psychology (8), Political Science (10), Biochemis-try (2), Chemistry (2), Geology (4), Computer Science(1) and Geography/ Regional Planning (46).

The Registrar urged the public particularly parents, guardians and the authorities of other tertiary institutions in Nigeria to note the expelled students.

It would be recalled that just last month, the Acting Rector of Federal Polytechnic, Ede, Osun State, Joseph Oke had announced the expulsion of 150 students for falsifying their admission papers and some disgruntled students of the school had attempted to cause riots on Monday following publication of the expulsion list and the results of the last semester examinations.

Also more than 80 students of Olabisi Onabanjo University in Ago-Iwoye were expelled or suspended for alleged murder, armed robbery, secret cult activities and forgery. The names, photographs, identification numbers, courses of study and other details of the students were published by the authorities the school.

Fayose, lawmakers disagree over bill on removal of LG chairmen   Back To Top

Vanguard: Thursday, July 15, 2004

By Gbenga Ariyibi

ADO-EKITI - THE governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayo Fayose and members of the state House of Assembly have disagreed over a bill sent by the governor to the House, seeking empowerment for the sole removal of erring council boss.

The governor, had a couple of days ago sent a bill to the State's House of Assembly, aimed at carrying out some major reforms at the council level, and more especially power to remove any 'erring' council chairman in the state.

But the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Idowu Adelusi has dismissed any misgivings on the part of the government on the bill, noting that any offensive portion of the bill was not meant to witch-hunt anybody but to let the elected council officials be accountable to the people.

Vanguard reliably gathered that the lawmakers in the state were not comfortable with the bill and they have to mandate the speaker, Mr. Patrick Ajigbolamu to liaise with some notable traditional rulers and some eminent personalities in the state with a view of letting the governor step down a portion of the bill, but all to no avail.

Having realized that the governor has made up his mind not to compromise on the bill, the Speaker, Mr. Ajigbolamu had to link up with his colleagues in the Southwest geo- political zone, so as to persuade the governor to withdraw the bill.

The Speakers who arrived Ado-Ekiti on Tuesday led by the Speaker of Ogun State, Mrs Titi Oseni told newsmen in Ado-Ekiti that their mission in the state was to work out a sort of harmonious relationship between the state legislative and executive arms of government, with a view to presenting a common front at the larger forum.

The Speakers, who had earlier held a two hour closed door meeting with their colleagues at the Chambers of House to deliberate on the issue later met the governor, Mr. Fayose at Government House Annex at about 5.30 pm on Tuesday where they were said to have tutored the governor on the controversial bill.

Defending the position of the government on the bill, the CPS to the governor, Mr. Idowu Adelusi said the bill was not meant to witch-haunt anybody but to entrench sanity, discipline and proper accountability at the council level.

"Be aware that the said bill is meant to carry out some reforms which are not peculiar to Ekiti State alone.

"If there is any portion in the bill which may be considered offensive, it is not meant to witch -hunt any body but to give room for proper management and accountability at the council level" Adelusi further declared.

Govt approves repair of Ekiti, Kwara link road   Back To Top

The Guardian: Wednesday July 14, 2004

From Jide Olatuyi (Abuja) and Ifedayo Sayo (Ekiti)

TO check further loss of lives and property on the road, the Federal Government has ordered the immediate rehabilitation of Ado-Ekiti-Omu-Aran-Kwara border highway.

Three of the bridges on the road would cost about N100 million while work on it is expected to begin next week.

Works Minister, Adeseye Ogunlewe, disclosed this on Monday while receiving the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayo Fayose in Abuja.

Ogunlewe said it was unfortunate that students of Ekiti State University died in a motor accident on the road last week.

Fayose had told the minister that two of the four victims were from the same parents.

Three construction companies have been contracted to execute the project.

The governor said: "The Ado-Ekiti-Omu-Aran-Kwara border road is narrow. The repair of the road and the bridge is long overdue. The students in solidarity with their late colleagues took over the Ado-Ekiti University, demanding that the bridge be repaired immediately.

"I feel it is time for me to run here and seek for the urgent repair of the road. I need your support to preserve peace and tranquillity in the state. I am appealing to the Federal Government to do something immediately so that I can return to the state with a good message to the students", Fayose said.

Ogunlewe disclosed that "immediately the incident happened, he (governor) called me on phone and I also quickly called the Director of Highways and the Federal Controller of Works in the state to have a quick inspection of the road so that we can solve the problem immediately.

"We had called a meeting of all the officers connected with the road project. We have decided that an immediate action be taken to ensure that the road is completed. As I am talking now, the matter has received the attention of Mr. President, who is also concerned. He has given the directive to begin the rehabilitation of the road and the construction of at least three of the five bridges with immediate effect".

Meanwhile, students of the University of Ado-Ekiti on Monday staged a procession round the state capital, Ado-Ekiti, in honour of their late colleagues who died in the road accident.

The students, led by the union president, Mr. Tony Nwaze, marched through the streets of the state capital in black attires, singing a dirge and the procession disrupted the movement of vehicles on the streets.

Some commercial vehicles were allegedly hijacked by the students to convey them to the houses of the deceased where they went to commiserate with their (late students') families.

They also called on the Federal and Ekiti State Governments to urgently reconstruct the narrow bridge where the students had lost their lives.

AD, no longer relevant in South-West –Fayose   Back To Top

The Punch, Wednesday July 14, 2004

Akin Oyedele, Ado-Ekiti

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, University of Ado-Ekiti branch has blamed successive Federal Governments for neglecting the Ado-Otun – Omu Aran Road constructed over 100 years ago, in a deplorable condition.

The union, in a statement by its Chairman Dr. Eddy Olanipekun, on Tuesday regretted last Saturday‘s fatal accident in Ado-Ekiti, on one of the narrow bridges along the road, in which three people died.

While the union commiserated with the families of the deceased, it noted that the accident, including several others before it had claimed hundreds of lives of people plying the road that linked the state with Kwara.

Olanipekun said the promise by the Minister of Works, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, when Governor Ayo Fayose led a delegation to him after the accident, that new bridges would be constructed to replace the narrow ones on the road was a welcome development.

He, however, urged the Federal Government to go a step further by embarking on a simultaneous rehabilitation and asphalt overlay of the road, “which is presently not only impassable but is indeed a famous death trap in Ekiti State.”

Meanwhile, as an aftermath of last Saturday’s tragic incident, where a student of the University of Ado-Ekiti also lost her life, the students on Monday declared three days of mourning.

The students had earlier allegedly attempted to demolish the narrow bridge where the accident occurred but were prevented from doing so following the quick intervention of the school management.

They later staged a peaceful demonstration around the town in a long convoy of miniature Suzuki commercial buses, known as Akoto and later went to the home of one of the bereaved parents to commiserate with them.

Meanwhile, a clearer identity of the three victims emerged on Monday, with the late girl, Deborah Oyeniyi confirmed as a pre-degree science student of UNAD.

It was learnt that the two boys had gone to the campus to pick her, having just finished her examination before they met their untimely death on their way home.

The remains of Oyeniyi were on Monday interred at The Apostolic Faith Church, Ajilosun, Ado-Ekiti, where she was said to be a music student.

AD decries Fayose’s ban on councillors’ meetings   Back To Top

The Punch, Tuesday July 13, 2004

Emmanuel Obe, Ibadan

The Chairman of the Alliance for Democracy in Ekiti State, Chief George Akosile, has criticised the state Governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose, for banning meetings of councillors and council chairmen in the state.

Akosile said in a statement in Ibadan on Monday, that the action of the governor was an indication that he was bent on introducing dictatorship in the state, arguing that in a democracy, no one had the right to stop people from holding legal and legitimate meetings.

Fayose had said councillors and council chairmen in the state should not hold any meeting in the state without first clearing from him.

The governor’s directive was carried on the state-owned radio and television stations.

Akosile said, “My feeling is that the governor is afraid of his own shadow hence there is no reason for such a ban being slammed on political functionaries who are stakeholders like himself.”

He said the headmaster tendency of the governor could further be reflected in his sending away of the Chairman of Ado Local Government, Mr. Taye Fasuuba, from a meeting of council chairmen on Monday, last week.

According to him, “Why the need for a bill to the (House of) Assembly seeking powers to dismiss or suspend ‘disobedient’ chairmen and councillors? Why is the governor afraid of politicians seeking offices in 2007? Why should he ban political meetings by PDP members in Ekiti State? Definitely Governor Fayose is now a dictator and I am sure he is riding on the back of a tiger and he would definitely end up in its belly.”

Fayose asks FG to rehabilitate abandoned Ado-Ekiti/Omu Aran road   Back To Top

Vanguard: Tuesday, July 13, 2004

By Gbenga Ariyibi

ADO-EKITI - GOVERNOR Ayo Fayose of Ekiti has appealed to the Federal Government to rehabilitate the abandoned Ado-Ekiti/Omu Aran road.

The appeal followed the death of four students of the University of Ado-Ekiti in an auto crash at the weekend on the Ado-Ekiti section of the road. Fayose made the appeal when he visited the scene of the accident on the university road.

The students, who were said to be from the same mother, were returning from school in their private car when it skidded off the road and plunged into a deep river popularly called "Odo Eje" (River of blood). For more than one hour, sympathisers could not rescue the students trapped in their Bluebird saloon due to the river's fast current.

When the victims were later brought out and rushed to the nearest hospital, they were all found dead.

The corpses were deposited at the state specialist hospital in Ado-Ekiti.

The driver of the car was identified as the son of the university's Deputy Registrar, Mrs Oloketuyi.

President Olusegun Obasanjo had, during his re-election campaign tour of Ekiti State on March 22, 2003, launched the reconstruction of the road and its 80-year-old narrow bridge.

Meanwhile, bereaved students of the University of Ado-Ekiti (UNAD) yesterday made a futile bid of removing the corpse of one of their colleagues who died in an auto-crash at the state's specialist hospital, Ado Ekiti but for the firm resistance of the management of the hospital.

Three persons, including a pre-degree student of the university had last weekend lost their lives when their vehicle plunged into a narrow bridge along Ado-Ekiti/Iworoko Road.

The students who staged a procession in honour of the student, from their main campus to all the nooks and crannies of the state capital, made an attempted bid of blowing-off the dangerous bridge popularly called Odo Eje where the unfortunate incident happened but for the quick intervention of the management of the university who pleaded with the students not to embark on such a destructive act.

The procession, which was led by the president of the student union, Mr. Tony Nwaze however saw the students driving straight to Ajilosun's family House of Oloketuyi's where they commiserated with the family of the deceased.

The students, who wore black attire, rendering a dirge, however hijacked all the commercial vehicles coming on their ways to participate in the procession.

FG Orders Construction of 3 Bridges in Ekiti   Back To Top

ThisDay: Tuesday, July 13, 2004

From Andy Ekugo in Abuja

Following students demonstration in Ekiti State over the death in a road accident of four students of Ado Ekiti University on Ado-Iworoko-Otun Kwara border-road, the Federal Government has ordered the immediate construction of the three bridges on the road.

Governor Ayo Fayose, had in the wake of the accident and protests made strong representations to the Federal Government through the Minister of Work Adeseye Ogunlewe.

Lamenting the state of federal roads Fayose told Ogunlewe that "students protesting colleagues' death on Saturday, took over the streets of Ado Ekiti requesting that the bridge be given immediate attention."

He told the minister that he had to run to Abuja because of the urgency the situation demanded and to ask Ogunlewe to give immediate support so that the bridge could be attended to.

He also revealed that he had made representations on the road to the federal government in the past.

Reacting, Ogunlewe urged the students to go back to their classrooms and let the Federal Government take "up their struggle for the rehabilitation of the road."

Consequently, a meeting with the Director of Highways MrJimeh was held yesterday morning on the issue and following the directives of President Olusegun Obasanjo, who was briefed on the issue, three construction companies, he said, have been summoned to appear in his office today.

"We have demanded that immediate action should be taken to ensure that the roads be completed," Jimeh said. He said President Obasanjo out of concern has directed the commencement of the "rehabilitation of the road and the construction of at least three of the five bridges with immediate effect."

Ogunlewe appealed to the students to "be patient with us and to give credit to the governor who called me immediately and even came to my office."

AD, no longer relevant in South-West –Fayose   Back To Top

The Guardian, Monday July 12, 2004

From Ifedayo Sayo, Ado-Ekiti

FOLLOWING last Saturday's death of four students on the deplorable Ado-Ekiti-Otun-Omuara federal road, the Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, has renewed his call for the urgent repair of the highway.

The governor made the call after assisting to recover the bodies of the victims who were drowned in "Odo-Eje" river after their vehicle plunged into the river from a bridge.

Fayose said the state government had made representation to President Olusegun Obasanjo several times on the need to rehabilitate the road.

Fayose, who was close to tears, noted that the bridge would continue to pose great danger to the people of the state especially students of University of Ado-Ekiti who are frequent users of the road.

He pleaded with the Minister of Works, Adeseye Ogunlewe, to urgently award contract for the rehabilitation of the road.

He recalled that he had two weeks ago led a delegation of monarchs from the state to plead with the President to reconstruct the road.

Though he was sure that President Obasanjo would make good his words to reconstruct the road, Fayose maintained that action should begin now to prevent further loss of lives on the road.

He sympathised with the family of Mr. Gbenga Oloketuyi who lost two of its children in the accident, saying: "It is only in Ekiti State that you have a 50-year-old bridge that has not been reconstructed."

Alleging marginalisation of the state in the scheme of things in the country, Fayose said President Obasanjo should not forget the state and save the people from abject poverty.

He also drew the attention of Ogunlewe to the deteriorating condition of federal roads in the state.

The road's repair has become a campaign tool for politicians. For instance when bye-election was held in Ekiti North Senatorial District in December 2001, the then Minister of Works, Chief Tony Anenih, flagged off the reconstruction of the road only to be abandoned later.

President Obasanjo, during his re-election campaign, also flagged off the rehabilitation of the road last year. However, work is yet to start on the road.

The victims of the accident were students of the University of Ado-Ekiti living off campus.

Their vehicle, a Nissan blue bird, had skidded off the seven-metre-wide bridge on the Odo-Eje river and plunged into the 14-feet deep river.

For over one hour, the car was trapped inside the water before sympathisers came to their assistance.

Six passengers were reportedly inside the car but only four bodies were recovered by men of the fire services who came to the scene of the accident.

The bloated bodies of the victims had been deposited at the mortuary of the state specialist hospital in Ado-Ekiti.

AD, no longer relevant in South-West –Fayose   Back To Top

The Punch, Monday July 12, 2004

Akin Oyedele, Ado-Ekiti

Ekiti State Governor, Mr.Ayo Fayose, on Saturday declared that the Alliance for Democracy is no longer relevant in the current political dispensation, nor will the party spring any surprise in the 2007 general elections.

The governor said this at a dinner and investiture night of the Law Society, University of Ado-Ekiti, where he was conferred with a distinguished leadership merit award for good governance.

Fayose said the age-long deception of hiding under the cloak of “Awoists” as a ploy to hoodwink the Yoruba to align with any political party was now out of fashion.

With due respect to the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, he said every true born Yoruba shared his ideologies and borrow from his rich repertoire of knowledge in relating to his socio-political life.

He acknowledged the role played by Chief Oyewole Fasawe, a recipient of fellowship award during the occasion in dismantling the structures of the AD in the South-West.

The governor extolled the virtues of Fasawe for his political leadership and philanthropic gestures, which according to him had enhanced the fortunes of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in the country.

Fayose saluted the exemplary gesture of the organisers of the event, whose nominees for the various awards, he said, were men of impeccable track record and achievements in their chosen fields.

He pledged his total support for the forthcoming accreditation of the UNAD Faculty of Law, schedule for this week and to be conducted by a team to be headed by the governing council of the Law School.

Other awardees that attended the occasion included Chief Segun Olusola; the Alara of Aramoko, Oba Oluwole Amele; Chief Albert Akanle (SAN) and the Yobe State Commissioner for Water Resources, Alhaji Aji Bularafa, who represented the state Governor Bukar Ibrahim.

The Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Chief Omolade Oluwateru; Secretary to the Ondo State Government, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko; his Ekiti State counterpart, Mr. Adeola Alofe and the state Commissioner for Education, Dr. Esther Fabusiyi, were among other dignitaries at the occasion.

Attah of Ayede Ekiti, files motion to halt execution of Appeal Court judgment   Back To Top

Vanguard: Monday, July 12, 2004

By Gbenga Ariyibi

ADO EKITI - THE Attah of Ayede Ekiti, Oba Joseph Adeleye Orisagbemi, has filed a motion for stay of execution of the judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal sitting in Ilorin, Kwara State which nullified his (Oba Orisagbemi) appointment as the traditional ruler of the town.

The Appeal Court had about a month ago in its judgment faulted the procedure adopted by the then Ondo State Government in the appointment of Oba Orisagbemi as the Attah of Ayede Ekiti in 1984.

In a motion on notice filed on behalf of the traditional ruler by his counsel, Mr. T.O.S Gbadeyan at the appellate court the monarch is equally seeking an injunction restraining the respondents "either by themselves or their agents, privies or servants from taking any step towards the realization of the execution of the judgement delivered by this honourable court on the 21st June, 2004."

Oba Orisagbemi averred in the motion that "five of the kingmakers have died, remaining only one alive who is said to be about 100 years old, and that replacement to the appellant pursuant to the judgement would take so many years to effect".

The appellant also averred that the said judgement was not to the effect that any other person should be installed as the Attah of Ayede.

In his grounds of appeal to the Supreme Court, the monarch, said the Appeal Court erred in law when it held that the respondent has locus standi to institute the action against the warrant chiefs, arguing that in the appointment of warrant chiefs only kingmakers were dislodged or suffered "partial suspension of their rights and obligations under the Chiefs law of Ekiti State"

According to him "only the kingmakers under the Chiefs Law could competently bring an action against the appointment of warrant chiefs".

He also faulted the judgement of the Appeal Court which held that "the trial court had jurisdiction notwithstanding the non-payment of a prescribed fee of N10, 000, a fundamental condition precedent in a chieftaincy dispute of this nature".

He contended that under Section 2 of the Edict No. 2 of 1991, payment of the sum of N10, 000 is a prerequisite that should be fulfilled "before the institution of a chieftaincy action is statutorily mandatory".

He is therefore praying the apex court to set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin and allow the appeal, as well as dismiss the entire case brought before the lower court.

The case is expected to come up at the apex Court when the court resumes from its annual vacation, by September this year.

Ekiti is viable for business, says Adelaja   Back To Top

Vanguard: Sunday, July 11, 2004

By LEKAN BILESANMI

The director-general of the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Mrs. Modupe Adelaja, says Ekiti State is viable for business going by the infrastructure government has put in place in the state in the last 13 months. Excerpts of interview.

WHAT brought you to Ekiti State'?

I am in Ekiti State to flag off the survey/census of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, which is part of my mandate as the Director General of the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).

So, what do you, as an agency of the Federal Government, hope to achieve at the end of your visit? I presume it won't be like the usual visits of dignitaries celebrated with so much funfair but without concrete actions thereafter.

No, no, no, not at all. This visit will be historic simply because it will leave foot points in the sands of time and in hearts of the people of Ekiti.

Governor Fayose has already set the ball rolling by creating the enabling environment through the development of social infrastructure. Our job will actually be made easy with the state government initiative of developing a computerised data base of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in the state as a rider to its internally generated revenue, which I hear skyrocketed from a paltry 30 million naira per month to 1O1 million naira monthly and my heart almost jumped into my month as I wondered where have all these hidden treasures been. So the mission of SMEDAN in Ekiti will really complement government efforts in a spirit of partnership that works.

You will agree that this is the central theme of modern day business the world over - cooperation and pooling of resources together to maximise potentials.

With the kind of mutual cooperation, respect and the spirit of camaraderie that exist between the state and the council chairmen in Ekiti, we should have no problems in translating our policy thrust into action in the areas of reduction in unemployment through job creation, wealth creation and increase in economic and social welfare, poverty reduction and alleviation, increased utilization of local raw materials, backward integration and intra business linkages, reducing cost of doing business through improved access to business information and infrastructure, reduction in rural-urban migration. improving living standards of rural and urban population and rapid national economic growth and development.

These 9-point agenda are in tandem with the policy thrust of Ekiti State and by extension the national economic reforms of the federal government to kick start the economy into today's international global village.

Let us look at the exercise within the context of the remoteness, size and the low commercial sector of Ekiti state with a predominance of civil servants, is it really worth your while?

On the contrary, we at SMEDAN headquarters in Abuja have a different opinion. This is because reports at our disposal, which actually precipitated this visit, say government is pioneering a multi-sectoral reform effort, which on the long run will provide an enabling environment for the growth of small and medium scale enterprises in accordance with our vision as an agency.

It is indeed heartwarming that the state government is addressing the lack of basic social infrastructure with a pragmatic approach, a scenario which had hitherto been the bane of investment flow into the state. I mean the lack of water, electricity and bad roads which made the overhead cost of doing business in Ekiti to be very high was a nightmare which scared off potential investors.

It is quite interesting that the state government is collaborating with the local government councils to execute some of these projects jointly, all in the interest of the masses and ultimately for the growth and development of the economy. We hear that the issue of water is being addressed with the purchase of a water rig estimated at 60 million naira, four new tankers, 500KVA generator for the waterworks in Ado the capital, while Mr. President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has given his nod for intervention and support in the resuscitation of major dams in the state for maximum distribution of water throughout the nooks and crannies of the state for a higher and longer life expectancy of the citizens

Furthermore, we are pleased that the issue of electricity is also being tackled alongside. Transformers have been bought for the 16 councils as a stop gap measure while plans are being finalised for the completion of the 132 KVA project.

Style of the governor

Now the style of the governor, Mr. Peter Ayo Fayose, whom I often, fondly, refer to as " my own brother", in galvanising, and mobilizing, the common man is very very endearing and unique. May I recall during the heat of the national campaign by the PDP in 2003, I accompanied President Olusegun Obasanjo to Ekiti State and I could not hold back tears from my eyes as I saw people in their multitudes lining the streets and openly displayed their support for Mr. Fayose who wasn't an incumbent but an aspirant. I knew in my heart that he would win and I am glad that today a year after, he has sustained the interest and welfare of the people in the execution of all his programmes and policies.

We were also delighted at SMEDAN, to watch on television and read in the dailies that Governor Fayose led a strong delegation of first class Obas in the state to visit President Obasanjo at the villa in Aso Rock and some of the fallouts of the meeting was the agreement of the Federal Government to dualize Ado Ekiti township roads at 100 million naira and construct Ado lworoko Otun-Omu Aran Road to open up and boost commerce. So, to answer your question, generally I say that we are happy at the giant strides of the young man in cutting the edge in developmental initiatives and we are really, really proud to identify with him and his government.

You seem to know so much about the goings-on in Ekiti State.

As a true patriot and particularly as a DG of a business organisation like SMEDAN, we need information about various activities of state governments in Nigeria to enable synergy between us and them. From our headquarters in Abuja, we have watched Ekiti with keen interest and I must register our pleasure with Governor Fayose's pro-active measures supported with concrete actions, which have provided a fertile base for SMEDAN initiatives to flourish.

From all indications, he is doing a good job and it's a testimony to the leadership potentials of the youth and a challenge to the young generation to have a re-think and refocus on the craze for materialism to virtues of hardwork, honesty and integrity.

In the planning of these your vision for Ekiti, did you consider the attitude of the people as low risk takers, an attribute which can be explained by their love for education rather than the risky world of business?

Yes I agree, at the mention of Ekiti, what readily comes to mind is book, book and book. It is no surprise that they are referred to as the fountain of knowledge. But the attitude you talked about is fast changing now through the dynamism and revolution injected and spearheaded by Governor Fayose. Even the education industry you mentioned had a dose of the revolution.

There was a policy shift from the free education of yesteryears, after a summit, where all stakeholders unanimously agreed to pay a token for their children's school fees to restore the standards of the past which were steadily going down the drains as evidenced by the poor performance of college students in public examination.

So, the quick response of government was to clear the backlog of debts owed by the immediate past government and inject a new blood into the system to achieve excellence.

Now on the attitude of the people, the resultant effect of the revolution, is that it is a new song, a new clime and indeed a new beginning.

It might interest you to know that Ekiti is now on the website, which I consider a major business breakthrough. The people, I, believe, are cultivating a new business posture and attitude for the betterment of their lives.

Do you have any advice for the people of the state?

Well I just want to make a clarion call for all and when I say all I mean all the Ekiti family no matter your political learning to close ranks and join the re-building process. It is time to re-build the young state from the ashes of yesterday for the state to be on the forward match with their older colleagues in other parts of Nigeria. Elections have come and gone. Bickering and wrangling are clogs in the wheel of progress. I want to urge all and sundry to join the boat of development in the interest of the founding fathers of the state, who agitated for the state creation for years on end barring all odds to have a separate identity in the Nigerian project.

Now that the state has come, the sweat, sacrifice and good intention of the prime mover of the idea, which definitely has a spiraling positive bandwagon effect on this generation and those yet unborn, should not be frittered and wished away on the altar of playing politics and chasing shadows.

Ekiti is not the only state where power changed hands in the last general elections, but in four other South West states. Interestingly the opposition in these five other states are not as vociferous and destructive as can be observed in Ekiti State. I mean taking a drive round Ado, even as you enter the boundaries of the state as a traveller or a visitor, the change is obvious for the blind to see.

Look, I believe that Mr Fayose has a divine mandate of four years. The beauty of democracy as against military rule is that it has its in-built mechanisms for checks and balances. It is powered by people and a majority. It is very straightforward. I mean if you do well, you get the majority approval and if you fail to deliver, you get the boot, that's all. No story. No excuses for failure. There is a time for reckoning.

Fayose, LG Chairman Resolve Rift   Back To Top

ThisDay, Friday July 09, 2004

From Dipo Okunmuyide in Ado-Ekiti

Rift between Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose and Chairman of Ado-Ekiti Local Government, Dr Taye Fasuba, was resolved yesterday at a reconciliatory meeting organised by the state natural rulers and leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.

Fasuba and the governor had been engaged in a running battle for the past one month over ownership of Okesa market recently razed by fire.

Fayose who took active role in putting out the fire caused by an explosion from a kerosene tanker had attempted to erect a multi-million naira structure to replace burnt stalls.

Fasuba saw the action as a usurpation of his power and quickly erected a sign post indicating that the property belongs to Ado-Ekiti Local Government.

While the governor insisted that he could not compromise development of Ado-Ekiti as the state capital supposed to be given a befitting status, the local government chairman stood his ground, urging the state government to hand-off the property which belongs to his council.

Defending his action while speaking with reporters in his office on Wednesday, Fayose said he took interest in reconstructing the market because of his believe in protecting the interest of the people who voted for him.

The governor said the structure he intended to erect is a modern one that will cost N26 million, saying the allocation of Ado Local Government cannot accommodate such gigantic project.

Speaker flays police over invasion of Assembly   Back To Top

The Punch, Friday July 09, 2004

Akin Oyedele, Ado-Ekiti

Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Mr. Sola Ajigbolamu, on Thursday said the invasion of the Assembly complex by policemen on Wednesday was uncalled for, even as he said the action caught the legislators unawares.

Ajigbolamu who disclosed this in a telephone interview with our correspondent said he arrived at the complex in the morning to meet the policemen strategically located around the building.

The policemen, according to him, explained their presence on the need to forestall possible break down of law and order following “security report” at their disposal that some aggrieved councillors planned to disrupt proceedings of the House.

The speaker said, “I don’t know who sent them, because we are on recess and was not about to debate any purported bill. I told them to leave immediately in order not to create a wrong impression to the public that we were privy to the action.”

Similarly, the Chairman of the House Committee on Rules, Business and Information, Mr. Bunmi Olugbade, in a separate interview with our correspondent claimed ignorance of any bill purportedly sent to the House on local government.

He added that agitations by the councillors over the purported move by the executive to reduce their salaries, as well as a legislative empowerment to remove any errant chairman of local government area were unsubstantiated.

Quoting Section 42 of the Local Government Administration Law, No 2 of 1999 he said, “The salaries and allowances of local government political functionaries shall be determined by the department of Political and Economic Affairs, office of the governor, subject to the approval of the House of Assembly.”

The two principal officers were unanimous in condemning the action of the police, noting that the Assembly complex was open to members of the public who wished to seek clarification on any issue.

Farmer, 70, commits suicide   Back To Top

Daily Independent: Thursday, July 8, 2004

Stories by David Atalese, Ado-Ekiti

After raping a 12-year-old girl, a 70-year-old farmer in Ido-Ekiti in Ido/Osi Local Government Area of Ekiti State, has committed suicide to avoid the shame and escape the wrath of the people.

Daily Independent learnt that the man, Ojo Fadahunsi, had about two weeks ago called the girl (name withheld) to send her on an errand, but unknown to the little girl it was a ploy to rape her.

It was further gathered that when the girl obeyed the summons, the man pounced on her and forcefully took her to the bedroom and had sexual intercourse with her, leading to profuse bleeding from her private part.

The girl's parents raised alarm and reported the matter to the police at Ido-Ekiti when they noticed the bleeding.

Attempts by the police to arrest and prosecute Ojo failed as he allegedly killed himself by drinking substances believed to be poison.

Also, attempts to save his life failed at the Federal Medical Centre, Ido-Ekiti where he was confirmed dead by a doctor.

The source further hinted that the man had before the incident, also raped a five-year-old girl and when caught he pleaded with the parents of the victim to forgive him, attributing his action to the handiwork of Satan.

Thereafter, he was said to have become born-again, claiming he would never relapse into raping infant girls again, until the recent incident, which led to his death.

Efforts made to contact the Divisional Police Officer at Ido proved abortive as he was said to be unavailable, but a police constable confirmed the incident and a source at the Federal Medical Centre confirmed the story.

Fayose Accuses LG Chairman of Sponsoring Protest   Back To Top

ThisDay: Thursday, July 8, 2004

From Dipo Okunmuyide in Ado Ekiti

Ekiti State governor, Mr Ayo Fayose has accused the Chairman of Ado-Ekiti local government, Mr. Taye Fasuba of sponsoring some councillors to embark on protests which can lead to a break down of law and order.

Mobile policemen were yesterday drafted to Ekiti State House of Assembly to curtail the anticipated protest of councillors over an alleged bill that will empower the government to reduce their salaries.

Addressing journalists in his office yesterday, Fayose said the chairman of Ado-Ekiti local government has been at loggerheads with him over the decision of the state government to withhold his allocation over non compliance with regulations guiding the spending of local government funds.

Fayose explained that government took the decision to withhold the June allocation of Ado-Ekiti local government due to the failure of the chairman to submit the budget of his expenditure as directed by the government.

The governor who said he has nothing personal against Fasuba equally accused the council chairman of blocking the initiative of the government to rebuild the Okesa market which was burnt down when a kerosene tanker exploded last month.

Fayose presents bill on power to remove council chiefs   Back To Top

The Guardian: Wednesday, July 7, 2004

From Ifedayo Sayo Ado-Ekiti

A BILL that will allow Ekiti Governor, Ayo Fayose to remove any erring council chairman without recourse to the state House of Assembly has been forwarded to the lawmakers for passage into law.

The bill, which will amend the existing state local government law, also stipulated the allowances to be paid to councillors and council chairmen in the state.

The bill is to be debated by the state House of Assembly today and gives a wide range of powers to the state governor over the affairs of the 16 councils in the state.

The bill is coming on the heels of a disagreement between the governor and some of the council chairmen over alleged deductions from the federal allocation to the councils.

The disagreement was brought into the open recently when the Ado Council boss, Toye Fasubaa was accused by the state Deputy Governor, Mr. Abiodun Aluko of rudeness to the governor.

Aluko said Fasubaa usually came late to meetings called by the governor and was not according to the governor the respect due to his office.

This was later confirmed by the chairman of the state conference of chairmen and chairman of Irepodun Ifelodun Council, Loba Daramola, who claimed that he and his colleagues would not support any chairman who disrespects the office of the governor.

However, Fasubaa denied the allegation against him, saying that Fayose was his boss and would always cooperate with him in the interest of the state.

He added that regarding the issue of allocations to his council, he would not allow himself to be cheated as he would stop at nothing to secure what belonged to his council.

Sources said the alleged withholding of the councils' monthly allocations by the state government has pitted the chairmen against the governor, who only released N2.5 million to the councils after paying council workers from their monthly allocations.

The remaining part of allocations was diverted to joint projects implemented by the two tiers, though against the wish of the council chairmen.

Some of these projects which Fasubaa and his colleagues had kicked against as disallowing them from implementing their programmes for the electorate, included the N1 billion poultry project in which each council contributed about N25 million, and the purchase of 64 buses, 250 motorbikes, 350 grinding machines and 350 stores recently distributed under the state poverty alleviation programme, as well as some earth-moving equipment.

The disagreement further degenerated on Monday when Fasubaa was walked out of the meeting between the governor and the 16 council chairmen.

Also, councillors in the state have kicked against the bill for reducing their salaries and empowering the governor to remove them at will.

The councillors, who were at the governor's office on Monday to plead with Fayose to have a re-think on their salaries, allegedly supported Fasubaa, who they followed to the palace of Ewi of Ado-Ekiti to lodge their protest.

The Assembly is expected to begin debate on the bill today as they resumed from their 25-day vacation, despite protest from the councillors.

But Special Assistant to the Governor on Parliamentary Affairs, Mr. Nelson Omotayo has denied knowledge of the bill, saying he was yet to be briefed on the issue.

Fayose met Ekiti in debts, says official   Back To Top

The Guardian: Wednesday, July 7, 2004

From Ifedayo Sayo, Ado-Ekiti

EKITI State acting Accountant General, Mr. David Ibikunle on Monday told the Justice David Babalola panel of enquiry into the financial expenses of the immediate past Adeniyi Adabayo administration in the state that the former governor did not leave any money in the purse of the government.

Rather, he said the former administration left behind debts in form of loans taken for the execution of government projects.

Ibikunle, who was the first to give evidence before the panel, put the total earnings of the Adebayo administration at N35,325,114,996.64 during its four-year tenure of which only N3 million was left in the state account at the expiration of the tenure.

He explained that the total earnings from the Federation Account amounted to N26.4 billion while dividends from 19 companies stood at N58 million.

Ibikunle, who assumed office seven months ago as acting accountant general, put VAT proceeds collected at N3.1 billion and proceeds from assets sharing at N33 million during the four-year tenure.

Other sources of income include reimbursement of pensions, N26 million; special releases, N4.3 billion; internally-generated revenue, N1.53 billion; ecological fund, N294 million, and loans, N4.9 billion.

He explained that a total of 23 loans were taken for the execution of different projects out of which 20 have been fully paid back by the administration before the end of its tenure.

He promised to furnish the panel with information at a later date on the remaining three, which we could not tell whether they have been fully paid back or not.

However, there were contradictions in the figure given in respect of internally-generated revenue for the year 2002 by the accountant-general and the one earlier released by the state government through its former Commissioner for Information, Chief Kayode Obadare.

While the accountant-general put the total internally-generated revenue for year 2002 at N592,852,707.49K, Obadare told reporters in May that the state generated N761,195,974.03K from internal sources that year.

The state auditor-general, Mr. Adedayo Ajayi, who also gave evidence, told the panel that the accounts of the state for year 2002 and 2003 were yet to be audited.

He explained that only the state government accounts for the year 1999 and 2000 have been audited and submitted to the state House of Assembly as required by law, adding that the accounts for year 2001 are currently being audited.

He blamed the delay in auditing the state government's accounts in the office of the accountant-general which ought to carry out the assignment, saying that unless the accountant-general performed his duty, there was little he could do on the matter.

On the accounts of the government for year 1999/2000, which have been audited, he said over 900 audit queries were issued by an office to ensure compliance with laid down rules.

Adebayo: Auditor-General testifies at Ekiti probe panel   Back To Top

Vanguard: Tuesday, July 06, 2004

By Gbenga Aribiyi

ADO-EKITI— THE panel of enquiry probing the activities of the immediate past administration in Ekiti State between May 1999 to May 2003 has been told of how the regime of Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo received over 100 audit queries for its inability to audit the account of the governments for three consecutive years.

Testifying before the panel in Ado-Ekiti yesterday, the state’s Auditor- General, Mr. Adedayo Ajayi disclosed how his office issued over 100 audit queries to the office of the Accountant General of the state for its inability to audit the accounts.

Ajayi, further disclosed that the accounts of the state for years 2001, 2002 and 2004 were not audited, while the accounts were audited for few months before the Otunba Adebayo administration came on board.

While testifying on the accounts of the state between the said period, the Accountant-General of the state, Mr. Tunde Ibikunle noted that the government realized the sum of N35.33 billion from various sources within May 29, 1999 and May 2003.

During the same period under review, the state government, according to him disbursed a total of N35.32 billion thereby leaving the purse in red, while some banks were being owed by the state government.

He further explained that the state generated N1.5 billion as internally generated revenue, while it received the sum of N 26.4 billions from the federation account and N 3.1 billion as Value Added Tax (VAT), ecological fund N295 million; N33 million was received on assets sharing allocation.

The witness further stated that the past government also got loans worth over N4 billion during the four year tenure, while its commitments to contract stood at N25 million.

Also testifying at the panel was the Head of Service, Elder Segun Bankole who corroborated the exhibits submitted to the panel in respect of Civil Service Rules and Regulations.

Chairman of the panel, Justice David Babalola, however implored those appearing before the panel to co-operate while given their evidence, saying the panel would accord them the confidentiality of anything they say or present.

Appeal Court okays removal of Ekiti monarch   Back To Top

Thursday, June 03, 2004

From Ifedayo Sayo, Ado-Ekiti

IN confirmation of an earlier ruling by an Ado-Ekiti High Court, which nullified the enthronement of traditional ruler of Ayede-Ekiti, Oba Joseph Adeleye Orishagbemi, the Appeal Court sitting in Ilorin has okayed the verdict.

Ruling in an appeal filed by Oba Orishagbemi on the judgment of Justice J.O. Akinyede, which earlier nullified his selection, the Appeal Court last week also awarded N10,000 cost against him, declaring the process by which he emerged as the Attah of Ayede as null and void.

A contender to the throne of Attah of Ayede, James Lagunju Osho, had in 1993 taken to court the former Ondo State government and six warrant chiefs appointed by the then state government over the appointment of Orishagbemi. He alleged that the process through which the royal father emerged as the monarch of Ayede Ekiti was irregular.

In his lead judgment, Justice Aboyi John Ikongbeh resolved the first issue against the appellant, saying that the non-joinder of the appellant did not rob the trial court of jurisdiction because the plantiffs' action disclosed no justiceable cause of action.

On the second issue, Justice Ikongbeh said the appellant counsel dwelt on irrelevant theories rather than the realities of the appeal before the court.

Quoting paragraphs 2,7 and 8 of the plaintiff's amended statement of claim, he said the stand of the appellant on the issue was quite untenable and resolved it against him.

In all, Justice Ikongbeh ruled that he agreed with the ruling of the lower court that "that appointment of the warrant chiefs was not in conformity with the provisions of the chiefs law and was therefore illegal, null and void and of no effect whatsover."

He added that "it follows naturally that not being warrant chiefs in the eyes of the law for the purpose of selecting and obtaining the Attah of Ayede, whatever atcion they purported to take was void and of no effect."

The two other justices, Walter Samuel Onnoghen and Ja'afaru Mika'elu supported the reasoning and conclusion of Justice Ikongbeh that the appeal lacked merit and therefore dismissed it. In the lower court, Osho had aruged that members of the only ruling house in the town, the Orishagbemi ruling house, had through their head, known as Elerebi, met and forwarded six names, including his to the kingmakers for appointment as the Attah of Ayedele in July 1992.

The kingmakers then met and confirmed the respondent, Prince Osho as the Attah elect and forwarded their decision to the Secretary of Oye Local Government, who was expected to inform the state government.

Rather than informing the state government of the decision of the kingmakers, the Secretary of Oye Local Government was alleged to have, along with the Apecial Adviser to the then Ondo State Government, attempted to force Oba Orishagbemi on the Kingmakers as the Attah-elect.

Following futile efforts to make the kingmakers to appoint Oba Orishagbemi, the state government in December 1993 appointed warrant chiefs to take over the duties of the kingmakes and confirm the appointment of Oba Orishagbemi as the Attah of Ayede-Ekiti.

Osho, who felt cheated, went to court, seeking a declaration that the appointment of the Warrant chiefs was contrary to the provisions of the Chiefs Laws of Ekiti State as was the declaration on the Attah of Ayede chieftancy and was therefore illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.

He also sought the court's order setting aside all the activities already taken by the warrant chiefs towards the selection and appointment of a new candidate for the vacant stool of Attah of Ayede-Ekiti.

After listening to the addresses to the two parties in the suit, Justice Akinyede ruled in favour of Prince Osho and granted his prayers.

Oba Orishagbemi, who was never a party to the suit at the lower court, applied to the Appeal Court to file grounds of appeal in respect of the suit, which was granted.

In his appeal filed on is behalf by Mr. T.O.S. Gbadeyen, four issues were formulated. They are:

whether the court has jurisdiction over the case as to validly make the set of orders decreed in its judgement;

whether or not the plantiff before the trail court and respondent before this court had the requisite standing to bring this action;

whether the appointment of the warrant chiefs under the chiefs law is illegal, null and void and of no effect among others; and

* wether or not the evidence before the court was correctly evaluated so as to meet the justice of the case.

PDP has done well in Ekiti –Osuntokun   Back To Top

The Punch, Monday July 05, 2004

Sunday Aborisade

The Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, Mr. Akin Osuntokun, has commended the Governor Ayo Fayose-led Peoples Democratic Party govern-ment in Ekiti State, describing as a smokescreen recent adverse comments by the Alliance for Democracy.

He said the comments were to divert public attention from the PDP’s giant strides in the state.

Osuntokun in a statement on Sunday said the allegation of non-performance levelled against Fayose by the AD lacked merit as the party was just giving excuses for its inactivity and non-performance throughout its four years of administration in the state.

The NAN boss said the constant attack on the PDP government in the state by the AD started last year when its administration was upstaged by Fayose and his team.

He said, “This is the genesis of the gang-up, mudslinging, and character assassinations that have trailed the young state in the past one year.

“I work in Abuja but as a politician, I make it a point of duty to visit Ekiti regularly as a lover of development. The impact of governance in Ekiti is infectious and spontaneous.”

He described as commendable the jump in the internally generated revenue of the state from N30 million to over N100 million monthly during the Fayose administration.

The AD, he said, was only able to generate N30 million monthly during its four years in office.

He said the quantum leap in the IGR would lead to greater development in Ekiti, explaining that one of the indices for revenue allocation was the ability of each state to generate internal revenue.

UNAD suspends part-time programme   Back To Top

The Punch, Monday July 05, 2004

Akin Oyedele, Ado-Ekiti

Following an attack on the Acting Director of the Part-time Programme of the University of Ado-Ekiti, Prof. Dipo Kolawole, two weeks ago, by a group of students, the school management has suspended the programme until further notice.

Some students who defaulted in the payment of their school fees had on June 27 allegedly physically assaulted the director following his insistence that they wrote an undertaking to settle their debt by the first week of this month.

This was said to be a condition given to them before they could be allowed to write their examinations.

Our correspondent gathered that some of the students had turned up at the school on Friday and Saturday with the expectation to write their examinations, but were asked to go home and await further directives.

Investigations by our correspondent revealed that the problem was top on the agenda of a Senate meeting, which was held last Wednesday at the institution.

The mutual distrust and no love lost relationship existing among the various industrial unions in the institution, which had in the recent past pitted members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities and their non-teaching counterparts in both the senior and junior cadres was also discussed.

At the end of the meeting, it was gathered that the Senate inaugurated a five-member committee mandated to probe the immediate and remote causes of the crisis.

Members of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities, UNAD chapter had been at loggerheads with the school management for some time now over their agitation for the implementation of a two-step increase in their salary structure, to be in parity with their ASUU counterparts.

Our correspondent gathered that the demand, which had precipitated unrest on the campus on more than three occasions did not go down well with ASUU who regarded the demand by NASU on pay parity as an affront.

In a February 3, 2004 letter addressed to NASU by the Registrar, Mr. Michael Ogunniyi, the UNAD management signified its readiness to accede to the demand, provided the union was able to produce an agreement signed between the Federal Government and its national body to the effect.

Opposition in Ekiti Destructive, Says Adelaja   Back To Top

This Day: Saturday, July 05, 2004

Mrs. Modupe Adelaja, the Director-General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDA) and former Minister of State for Defence was in Ekiti State recently as part of efforts to open up business avenues across the country . However, in the course of her visit, she spoke with reporters, essentially on what brought her to the state fondly called the Fountain of Knowledge. Winnie Misan Inoniyegha was there. Excerpts

Perhaps, we start from your mission here in Ekiti. As the DG of SMEDAN, what are you doing here? I am in Ekiti State to flag off survey/census of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, which is part of my mandate as the Director-General of the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).

But does it really worth it considering the remoteness, size and the low commercial sector of the state which is predominantly a civil service state?

On the contrary, we at SMEDAN headquarters in Abuja, have a different opinion. This is because reports at our disposal, which actually precipitated the visit to Ekiti State say government is pioneering a multi-sectoral reform effort, which on the long run will provide an enabling environment for the growth of small and medium scale enterprises in accordance with our vision as an agency. It is indeed heartwarming that the state government is addressing the lack of basic social infrastructure with a pragmatic approach.

So, what do you, as an agency of the federal government, hope to achieve at the end of the day?

This visit will be historic,simply because it will leave foot points in the sands of time and in hearts of the people of Ekiti, Governor Ayo Fayose has already set the ball rolling by creating the enabling environment through the development of social infrastructures as I mentioned earlier. Our job will actually be made easy with the state government initiative of developing a computerised data base of all SMEs (Small and Medium Scale Enterprises) in the state as a rider to its internally generated revenue, which I hear skyrocketed from a paltry 30 million naira per month to a whooping 101 million naira monthly and my heart almost jumped into my mouth as I wondered where have all this hidden treasures been. So the mission of SMEDAN in Ekiti will really complement government efforts in a spirit of partnership that works.

You will agree that this is the central theme of modern day business the world over. Cooperation and pooling of resources together to maximise potentials. With the kind of mutual cooperation, mobilising support and public interest particularly the common man is very very endearing and unique, I must confess. May I recall during the heat of the national campaign by the PDP in 2003, I accompanied President Obasanjo to Ekiti State and I could not hold back tears from my eyes as I saw people in their multitudes lining the streets and openly displayed their support for Mr. Fayose who wasn't an incumbent but an aspirant, I knew in my heart that he would win and I am glad that today, a year after, he has sustained the interest and welfare of the people in the execution of all his programmes and policies.

We were also delighted at SMEDAN, days back, to watch on television and read in the dailies, that Governor Fayose led a strong delegation of first class Obas in the state to visit President Obasanjo at the villa in Aso rock and some of the fall-outs of the meeting were the agreement of the federal government to dualise Ado Ekiti township roads at 100 million naira, construction of the Ado Iworoko Otun-Omu Aran road and some other federal roads in the state to open up and boost commerce. So to answer your question, generally I say to you as D-G SMEDAN, that we are happy at the giant strides of the young man in cutting the edge in developmental initiatives and we are really, really proud to identity with him and his government approach, a scenario, which had hitherto been the bane of investment flow into the state, I mean the lack of water, electricity and bad roads which made the overhead cost of doing business in Ekiti to be very high was a nightmare which scared off potential investors.

It is quite interesting that the state government is collaborating with the local government councils to execute some of these projects jointly, all in the interest of the masses and ultimately for the growth and development of the economy. We hear that the issue of water is being addressed with the purchase of a water rig estimated at 60 million naira, four new tankers, 500KVA generator for the waterworks in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, while Mr. President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has given his nod for intervention and support in the resuscitation of major dams in the state for maximum distribution of water throughout the nooks and crannies of the state for a higher and longer life expectancy of the citizens.

Furthermore, we are pleased at SMEDAN that the issue of electricity is also being address alongside. Transformers have been bought for the 16 local government councils as a stop gap measure while plans were on for the completion of the 132KVA project.

Now the style of the governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose whom I often, fondly refer to as "my own brother", in galvanizing, and respect and the spirit of camaraderie that exists between the state and the council chairmen in Ekiti, we should have no problems in translating our policy thrust into action in the areas of reduction in unemployment through job creation, wealth creation and increased economic and social welfare and poverty reduction. Also, in such areas as increased utilization of local raw materials, backward integration and intra business linkages, reducing cost of doing business through improved access to business information and infrastructure, reduction in rural-urban migration, improving living standards of rural and urban population as well as rapid nationaleconomic growth and development.

These nine-point agenda are in tandem with the policy thrust of Ekiti State and by extension the national economic reforms of the federal government to kick start the economy into today's international global village. I am very optimistic there won't be any problem at all. It will be smooth sail, I assure you.

In putting up such plans as they appear, did you consider the attitude of the people as low risk takers, and attribute which can be explained by their love for education rather than the risky world of business?

Yes I agree, at the mention of Ekiti what readily comes to mind, is book, book and book. It is no surprise that they are referred to as the fountain of knowledge. But the attitude you talked about is fast changing now through the dynamism and revolution injected and spearheaded by Governor Fayose. Even the education industry you mentioned had a dose of the revolution. There was a policy shift from the free education of yesterdays, after a summit, where all stakeholders unanimously agreed to pay a token for their children's school fees to restore the standards of olds, which were steadily going down the drains as evidenced by the poor performance of college students in public examinations.

So the quick response of government was to clear the backlog of debts owed by the immediate past government and inject a new blood into the system to achieve excellence.

Now on the attitude of the people, the resultant effect of the revolution is that it's a new song, a new clinic and indeed a new beginning

It might interest you to know that Ekiti is now on the website, which I consider a major business breakthrough. The people, I believe are cultivating a new business posture and attitude for the betterment of their lives.

Interestingly, your understanding of Ekiti also suggests that you nurture some kind of relationship with the governor. Are you in anyway related?

As a true patriot and particularly as D-G of a business organisation like SMEDAN, we need information about various activities of state governments in Nigeria to enable synergy between us and them. From our headquarters in Abuja, we have watched Ekiti with keen interest and I must register our pleasure with Governor Fayose's pro-active measures supported with concrete actions, which have provided a fertile base for SMEDAN initiatives to flourish.

From all indications, he is doing a good job and it's a testimony to the leadership potentials of the youth and a challenge to the young generation to have a re-think and refocus on the craze for materialism to virtues of hardwork, honesty and integrity.

What would you tell the people of the state before you leave?

Well I just want to make a clarion call to all and when I say all I mean all the Ekiti family no matter your political leaning to close ranks and join the re-building process. It is time to rebuild the young state on the ashes of yesterday for the state to be on the forward march with their older colleagues in other parts of Nigeria. Elections have come and gone. Bickering and wrangling are clogs in the wheel of progress. I want to urge all and sundry to join the boat of development in the interest of the founding fathers of the state, who agitated for the state creation for years on end barring all odds to have a separate identify in the Nigerian project.

Now that the state has come, the sweat, sacrifice and good intention of the prime movers of the idea, which definitely has a spiraling positive bandwagon effect on this generation and those yet unborn, should not be frittered and wished away on the altar of playing polities and chasing shadows.

Ekiti is not the only state where power changed hands in the last general elections, but in five South West states except Lagos, interestingly the opposition in these five other states are not as vociferous and destructive as can be observed in Ekiti State. I mean taking a drive round Ado Ekiti, even as you enter the boundaries of the state as a traveller or a visitor, the change is obvious for the blind to see.

Look, I believe that Mr. Fayose has a divine mandate of four years. The beauty of democracy as against military rule is that it has its in-built mechanisms for checks and balances. It is powered by people and a majority, its very straightforward. I mean if you do well you get the majority approval and if you fail to deliver you get the boot, that's all. No story, No excuses for failure. There is a time for reckoning.

Cleanliness Par Excellence in Ado-Ekiti   Back To Top

ThisDay: Saturday, July 05, 2004

I must commend the good job being done by your widely read newspaper, I say more power to your elbow.The saying that cleanliness is next to Godliness is a fact that cannot be over-emphasized. This is why I'm writing this letter to commend the job being done in Ekiti State.

Anyone that gets to Ado-Ekiti, the state capital will be surprised at the way the environment is being kept neat unlike before that refuse dumped on the streets won't allow you a breathing space.

I want to commend the pragmatic governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose for his sense of neatness and dirty-free environment. The effort of the governor cannot be over-emphasized at ensuring the neatness of the state capital.

Let me say here that if this good work is allowed to continue this way, Ekiti State will not only be free from epidemic outbreak, the state will also be a role model to other states of the federation.

Once again, I want to give kudos to Dr. Fayose for his giant strides and crop of laudable achievements of his administration over a year in office.

Felicia Adeboye, Ado-Ekiti.

Ekiti to Construct 100 Housing Units   Back To Top

ThisDay: Friday, July 02, 2004

From Dipo Okunmuyide in Ado-Ekiti

Ekiti State government has concluded arrangements to construct 100 housing units across major towns to lessen the problem of accommodation.

Disclosing this during the monthly media chat on the Broadcasting Service of Ekiti (BSES) on Thursday, the state Governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose, said half of these housing units would be constructed in the state capital, Ado-Ekiti.

He disclosed that work would commence next week on the construction of an ultra modern structure to replace the burnt stalls at the Okesa market during a recent fire disaster resulting from explosion of a kerosene tanker.

Speaking on the propose plan to dualise the major roads in Ado-Ekiti, Fayose said the state government would source money to mobilise contractor for the project while Federal Government would later reimburse the state for the money expended.

2005 census: NPC solicits Ekiti’s assistance   Back To Top

Daily Independent: Friday, July 02, 2004.

By David Atalese Special Correspondent Ado Ekiti

The Ekiti State Government has been urged to prevail on the 16 local governments chairmen in the state to support the National Population Commission’s (NPC) effort to ensure a hitch free population census in the state next year.

The state Director of the commission, Chief Moses Fadipe, who made the appeal when he paid a courtesy call on the state Deputy Governor, Mr. Abiodun Aluko in his office in Ado Ekiti,

also called on the state government to update the state maps as most of those available in local governments have become obsolete.

The director solicited for government’s assistance in the area of logistics and suitable accommodation to enhance the success of the commission next year.

Speaking earlier, Aluko assured the director that the state government would do everything towards to ensure the success of the headcount next year.

He said the state attached importance to the exercise because accurate census data would enhance development through adequate planning with correct data.

Aluko said the government could not overlook the fact that population constitutes one of the indices of statutory allocation to states and local governments from the federation account.

He gave an assurance that the state government would ensure that no stone was unturned for the provision of relevant data with a view to enhancing proper planning.

Ayede Ekiti chiefs, finger governor's cousin in chieftaincy crisis   Back To Top

Vanguard: Friday, July 2, 2004

By Gbenga Ariyibi

ADO-EKITI” THE title Chiefs in Ayede Ekiti, in Oye local government area of Ekiti State, have fingered a cousin to the governor of the state, (names withheld) of masterminding the attempted bid by some youths in the town to forcibly eject the town's monarch, Oba Adeleye Orisagbemi from his palace a couple of days ago.

Some youths and miscreants from the town had about a week ago made a futile bid to forcibly eject the Attah, Oba Adeleye Orisagbemi out of his palace, over what could be described as misinformation of court's verdict, even as they embarked on certain traditional rites, like cutting of trees from the market, signaling a demise of the monarch.

The chiefs operating under the aegis of Titled Chiefs of Ayede Ekiti have therefore appealed to both President Olusegun Obasanjo and the state governor, Ayo Fayose to wade into the problem by calling the governor's cousin to order.

However, policemen from the Area Command Ikole and the Divisional Police Office at Oye complemented the activities of the chiefs who had mounted vigil round the palace for three consecutive days to bring the situation under control.

Speaking with newsmen in Ayede-Ekiti Wednesday, the Spokesperson for the Chiefs, Chief Adetifa Kayode said the action of the youths might not be unconnected with the verdict of the Court of Appeal sitting in Ilorin on the Obaship tussle in the town, which the people allegedly misinterpreted.

Chief Adetifa, who is also the Arole Oba of Ayede pointed out that the court's verdict was not even explicit nor categorical that Oba Orisagbemi should vacate office, wondering what could have informed the unruly behaviour of the people, whom he said, did not wish the town well. The chiefs however, accused the governor's cousin of masterminding the crisis in the town so as to create serious havoc and mayhem, as he was said to have come along with the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the governor, to the state's C.I.D office Ado-Ekiti seeking the immediate release of the accused persons.

'We have all the facts at our disposal to link the governor's cousin with the crisis in the town, as we saw him with the C.S.O to the governor at the C.I.D office Ado-Ekiti seeking the release of those arrested, saying they should be released to him, as the state governor is highly interested in the matter'.

'We don't want another Owo episode here, we don't want to witness what happened in Plateau State in our land, we are satisfied with the style of our ruler, he is a God-chosen one', the chiefs further pleaded.

According to them, 'we are particularly using this medium to appeal to our energetic and dynamic governor to curb the excesses of this man in the interest of peace and progress of Ekiti State. Ekiti is so small, if there is a breach of peace anywhere in the state, it would spread fast to the rest of the state.

'We are strongly appealing to the chief to stop dabbling into an issue, which ordinarily does not concern him and if anything happens, to our ruler, we all know who is responsible', the chiefs further declared.

Meanwhile, notable traditional rulers from Oye local government area of the state were in Attah's palace last weekend to pay a solidarity visit to their colleague.

FRSC warns motorists against offering bribes to marshals   Back To Top

The PUNCH: Friday, July 02, 2004

Akin Oyedele,Ado-Ekiti

With the conviction of two persons for attempting to corrupt road marshals, it has now become a punishable offence to offer bribe or any form of gratification to members of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Ekiti State Sector Command.

The Sector Commander of FRSC in the command, Mr. Emmanuel Ngutibi, disclosed this during a news conference on Thursday.

A commercial bus driver, Mr. Hammed Musa, who on being arrested for overloading his vehicle, attempted to bribe the road marshal with N300 was, according to him, sentenced to six months imprisonment with an option of N1,000 fine.

Similarly, one Olu Oguntuase arrested for not having side mirrors on his vehicle bagged three months imprisonment, with an option of N300 fine, having been found guilty of offering N100 bribe to a marshal.

Ngutibi said the offences were contrary to Section 11, 5(1) of the FRSC Act, Cap 141, adding that more offenders would be prosecuted, while any of the officials caught conniving with motorists would equally face disciplinary measures.

He enjoined members of the public to get attuned to the new order and comply with traffic rules and regulations rather than the age-long practice of cutting corners, saying it would no longer be business as usual.

Apart from the convicted drivers, the FRSC boss explained that other minor offenders were tried and fined by the FRSC in accordance with the statute book.

Ngutibi also said the ongoing re-screening and recruitment of new members into the state unit of the special marshal was informed by the need to correct the identified loopholes in the recruitment of the former members.

This, he said, led to the de-kitting of the former State Executive members, some of whom had spent more than the specified two terms of two years each.

He said, “We discovered that most of the members do not meet the required minimum standard expected of special marshals, while the executive members engaged in muscle flexing with the officials of the FRSC.”

For members of the public interested in enlisting as special marshals, he said such individuals must own a car and must be of proven integrity, high moral and social status, And must as well signify interest in the voluntary service.

Anyaoku, Adebayo restate need for national conference   Back To Top

The Guardian: Thursday, July 1st , 2004

By Gbenga Olorunsiwa

AS agitation for a Sovereign National Conference persists, former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, and erstwhile Ekiti State Governor, Adeniyi Adebayo, have added their voices.

The duo who spoke in separate interviews on Tuesday in Lagos pointed out that the conference had become inevitable for there to be peace and stability in the land and by extension, national growth.

Anyaoku said: "I have given a number of public lectures in which I called for a national conference as a means of helping all sections of the country to discuss the structure of the polity and the constitution of this country"

Reacting to arguments by some that the National Assembly which represents all constituencies in the country, should handle the issue of national conference Anyaoku said:

"I believe that the National Assembly members will be part of the national conference, but the constituency of the conference will be different from that of the National Assembly members"

Adebayo, a member of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and Afenifere, said: " I believe that it is important that we hold a national conference so that the divergent people of Nigeria can get together and formulate the proper constitution for the smooth running and governance of our country"

As to whether the National Assembly should go ahead and convene such a conference, he said:

"If the National Assembly takes it upon itself, it won't be a bad thing because we do have a representative of the various people in the National Assembly."

"But since it seems as if the National Assembly has shifted from this responsibility, as if they don't want to do it, I don't see why another representatives of the people should not be put together to represent the views of the people and articulate these views so that we can have a proper constitution for this country", he added.

Ekiti denies alleged diversion of allocation to LGs   Back To Top

The Punch: Thursday, July 1st , 2004

Akin Oyedele, Ado-Ekiti

Ekiti State Government on Wednesday denied allegations that it had been diverting the Federal Allocation meant for the local government areas of the state, even as it labelled one of the council’s chairmen a “mischief maker.”

Addressing a news conference in his office, the Deputy Governor, Mr. Abiodun Aluko, clarified the events that led to the release of N2.5 million “loan” to each of the 16 council chairmen on assumption of office in April 30.

He accused the Chairman of Ado-Ekiti Local Government, Mr. Taye Fasubaa, as being the mastermind of the “unfounded allegation,” adding that he (Fasubaa) had in the recent past demonstrated his contempt for constituted authority by being rude to Governor Ayo Fayose.

But, Fasuba at a separate news conference described the allegation as incorrect, adding that he did not at any time accuse the state government of hijacking funds meant for the council.

He said, “I regard people that fabricate issues as uncivilised. I’m not worried at all because the allegations against me boil down to mischief. I hereby dissociate myself from the publication, because I’ve been getting what is due to me from the Federation Account. Anyway God is the ultimate judge.”

The deputy governor explained that by the time the chairmen took over from the former caretaker committee chairmen, the Joint Account Allocation Committee meeting had been held and April allocation released to them.

For the new council bosses to take-off on a sound footing, Aluko said the government decided to give them a refundable N2.5 million each pending the release of May allocation from the Federation Account.

When the May allocation due for the councils were eventually released estimated at N702.2 million, the deputy governor said about N662.9 million was shared among the 16 councils, while N39.1 million, representing 20 per cent, was held in reserve for the execution of joint projects with the state government.

Also on Wednesday, the Chairman of the state branch of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria, Mr. Toba Daramola, dissociated the chairmen of the 16 councils from the allegation that the state government at any time shortchanged his colleagues.


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