The Ekiti State government has raised the alarm over what it said were plots by the Federal Government to usurp the government of Governor Ayodele Fayose, and called on the international community, civil society organisations and all lovers of democracy to rise against the development.
The state Executive Council made the call, following the arrest of some members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly and some top government functionaries, by men of the Department of State Services (DSS).
The Ekiti State Executive Council, which made the call after its third meeting of the year, in a statement accused the Federal Government of plotting to usurp the government of Governor Ayodele Fayose, using military tactics.
The statement, signed by the deputy governor of the state, Dr Kolapo Olubunmi Olusola and 19 other members of the council, on Tuesday, called on the international community, civil society organisations and all lovers of democracy to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure immediate release of the members of the state House of Assembly and top government functionaries arrested by DSS, for yet to be disclosed reasons.
“None of the stated functionaries have been accused of any crime whatsoever, let alone those bordering on the state security. The spate of arrests of principal functionaries of government will appear irregular, unjust, unwholesome and politically motivated to intimidate Governor Fayose, who has become the lone voice of the opposition to the APC-led government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The current intimidation is an orchestrated plot of the APC to overthrow the legitimate government of Ekiti State, having failed to achieve destabilisation agenda, through the judiciary and later through subversive machinations.
“The state had always cooperated with the EFCC and ICPC, and indeed, every other agencies that have visited the state to request for one information or the other.
“The council, therefore, describes the current terror on Ekiti State as condemnable, malicious and manifestly undemocratic,” the council stated.
…Reps summon DG DSS, give 48 hours ultimatum
The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, summoned the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr Lawal Daura, over last week’s alleged invasion and subsequent arrest of four members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly (EKSHA).
This followed the adoption of a motion moved by the Minority Leader of the House, Honourable Leo Ogo, on Tuesday, at the plenary
While raising a point of order under matters of urgent Public Importance, Honourable Ogor noted that the unlawful invasion and subsequent arrest of four lawmakers of the EKSA, by officers and men of the DSS was illegal and unacceptable, under a democratic system of government.
Debating the motion seconded by Honourable Saheed Akinad-Fijabi (Oyo, PDP), the opposition leader stated that the unwarranted and unlawful invasion of Ekiti State House of Assembly “ is a clear breach of the provisions of the Legislative Powers and Privileges Act.”
He pointed out that the invasion of the Assembly violated the provisions of Sect (3) of the National Securities Act, as well as Sect 14 (1) of the Legislative Houses Powers and Privileges Act.
He informed the House that democracy as a form of government was founded, and also thrived on the principles of separation of powers.
The lawmaker declared that the invasion of the Ekiti Assembly amounted to a clampdown on the age- long democratic principles of rule of law rather rule of men.
He, therefore, urged the House to by way of resolution summon the DG DSS to appear before the House within 48 hours, to explain the role of the agency in the invasion and arrest of the four lawmakers.
The House unanimously adopted the motion when the Speaker, Honourable Yakubu Dogara called for a voice vote on the matter which was overwhelmingly voted for.
He thereafter referred the motion to the House Committees on National Intelligence and Public Safety for further legislative inputs.
…We were offered $1m to unseat Fayose —Ekiti lawmakers
Members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, on Tuesday, alleged that some of them were offered gratification to the tune of $1million, for those who would be willing to work for the impeachment of the Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose.
The chairman of the House Committee on Information, Chief Gboyega Aribisogan, who addressed newsmen on the development and 12 other members of the House, claimed that members of the House were being coerced into impeaching Governor Ayodele Fayose, saying “a sum of $1 million was being promised some of the members that will be ready to be part of the impeachment plot.”
According to him, “in the last four days, eight of our members had been visited by some men, who claimed to be officials of the DSS. Our members were told that their names were among those to be arrested and they must ‘cooperate’ if they do not want their bank accounts frozen and be kept in DSS detention indefinitely.”
They alleged what was described as “the open involvement of men of the Department of State Service (DSS) from Abuja in the plot to unseat our state governor, Mr Peter Ayodele Fayose,” adding that “the last Friday invasion of the House of Assembly by armed men of the DSS in which four of our members were abducted, has been established to be a prelude to the clandestine plot to coerce members of the House of Assembly to impeach Governor Fayose.”
NBA decries arrest of 4 Ekiti lawmakers, wants offences made public
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has flayed the Department of State Services for the arrest of four members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, and asked the agency to make their offences public.
Ado Ekiti branch of the NBA, in a statement by its chairman, Dr Foluke Dada, on Tuesday, said “the Bar unequivocally condemns the forced entry into the hallowed chambers of the House and the arbitrary arrest of the lawmakers.”
Dr Dada, while expressing NBA’s condemnation of the arrests, also demanded “the immediate disclosure of the whereabouts of the lawmakers, and ask that the offences upon which they were arrested be made public.”
According to her, “the branch views the arrest and detention by the Department of State Services as a sharp departure from the tenet of democracy and a clear contravention of the law setting up the institution.”
It also claimed that “the arrest is a clear contravention of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which the Department of State Services is established to uphold at all times when discharging its duties.”
The branch said while it was mindful of the current fight against corruption by the Federal Government, it called on the authorities involved to uphold the rule of law.