A ban on a former Ekiti state Governor from holding office for 10 years has been described as a joke by a Lagos lawyer.
Nigerian lawyer, Femi Falana
Lagos lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) has described Ekiti Stat Governor Ayodele Fayose’s ban of his predecessor, Dr Kayode Fayemi from holding public office for 10 years as a joke saying the ban cannot stand any legal test.
In a statement yesterday in Lagos, he said: “In the case of Atiku Abubakar v Attorney-General of the Federation, the Supreme Court held that only a court of law has the power to disqualify and ban a Nigerian citizen from holding public office in Nigeria. So, the apex court set aside his disqualification from holding public office via a White Paper, which was endorsed by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
“A similar ban placed on Malam Nasiru El-Rufai by the House of Representatives was also quashed by the court. To that extent, the decision of the Ekiti State government to ban Dr. Kayode Fayemi from politics cannot stand the test of constitutional validity. If Dr. Fayemi challenges the ban in court, he is likely to have it quashed and set aside.
“However, as a serving minister in an administration that is fighting corruption, Dr. Fayemi has a duty to respond to his indictment by the judicial commission of enquiry, which probed the finances of Ekiti State under his watch. Alternatively, he may pray the court to annul the report. But he cannot afford to ignore the findings of the panel.
“Since Dr. Fayemi chose not to appear before the judicial panel, he has to explain his own side of the story to Ekiti people. This is in line with the principle of public accountability enshrined in the Freedom of Information Law and Fiscal Responsibility Law enacted by the Fayemi administration.”