Odun Igbalajobi, Director, Public Affairs, Ekiti Development Agenda, has labelled Messrs Afe Babalola, Wole Olanipekun and Femi Falana as hypocrites following the on-going speakership crisis rocking the Ekiti State House of Assembly.
In a statement made available to Newsbreak Nigeria and signed by Igbalajobi, the group questioned the silence of the “wise men” during constitutional infractions under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administrations in the state.
The group said it was “pure case of hypocrisy” from the seven Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) to raise hell because they have a close relationship with the impeached Speaker.
The statement read in full: “Lest Our SANs forget!”
“Once again, we are compelled to respond to the statement by our Elders under the umbrella of the Seven Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) on recent developments in the Ekiti State House of Assembly.
We the members of the Ekiti Development Agenda wish to align with the position of the leadership of the APC in Ekiti state on the EKHA leadership issue.
We thereby wish to bring to the notice of all Ekiti sons and daughters to these recent developments in our state and how our so called wise men and elderly SANs kept mute.
1. At the resumed trial of the eligibility case instituted against Governor Fayose on Monday September 22, 2014 PDP thugs stormed the high court premises and attacked the trial judge, Justice Olusegun Ogunyemi, litigants and judicial workers thus prevented hearing of the matter. Our SANs looked the other way!
2. A judge, Justice John Adeyeye (now the Chief Judge of Ekiti state) was beaten blue and black, his suit torn into shreds and his office turned upside down by thugs on the orders of former Governor Fayose on September 25 2014, our 7 SANs did not converge to condemn the action.
3. The serial attack on judges and judicial workers went unabated while security agents watched helplessly. This made the National Judicial Council ( NJC) during its emergency meeting on Monday September 29, 2014 directed that courts should be reopened while the eligibility case against Fayose should continue while security agencies were directed to provide security for the judges. The directive of the NJC was ignored as fierce looking soldiers prevented judges and lawyers from entering the court including the then Chief Judge of the State, Justice Ayodeji Daramola. The soldiers claimed they were acting on orders from above! While all these constitutional infractions were going on, our legal luminaries did not utter a word to condemn the rape on the judiciary as they are now doing!
4. In November 2014, a month after Governor Fayose was sworn in, 7 members of the House of Assembly impeached the Speaker Adewale Omirin and drove the remaining 19 members out of the Assembly and out of the state till the end of their tenure in June 2015. The 19 members did not complete their tenure and their entitlements were not paid. Ironically one of the SANs who signed the document condemning the impeachment of Rt. Hon. Aribisogan by 17 members in a house of 25, Barrister Dele Adesina (SAN) was the counsel of the 7 members who impeached the Speaker in a house of 26 members and he defended them well! Our SANs did not see anything wrong about 7 members impeaching the Speaker in a house of 26.
5. Governor Fayose on November 12, 2014 screened his Commissioner nominees and Caretaker members with 7 members of the House of Assembly in a house of 26 members. This was after driving away the remaining 19 members who were of the APC and whom he accused of not screening his Commissioner nominees without their curriculum vitae as required by law. Gov Fayose also froze the account of the House of Assembly immediately to teach them a lesson. Our SANs didn’t converge to condemn this rape on the legislature!
6. Governor Fayose did not only wear shirt and knicker into the hallowed chamber of the House of assembly to present his budget on 2017 but went with his own gavel to pass the budget almost immediately after which he declared himself the Speaker of the house of Assembly! Our almighty legal luminaries didn’t see anything illegal about this! They didn’t come out to remind Fayose that Ekiti is land of honour as they are reminding us now.
7. Governor Fayose on October 16, 2014 changed the logo of Ekiti without recourse to the House of Assembly which approved and passed the logo into law. Our SANs said nothing.
8. Governor Fayose on October 16, 2014 unilaterally dissolved 19 LCDAs created by the House of Assembly without recourse to the Assembly. Our SANs kept quiet.
9. Governor Fayose on November 5, 2014 closed down the College of Agriculture Isan which was established by law without recourse to the House of Assembly. Our SANs did not converge to condemn it.
10. Former Governor Segun Oni used an expired 2nd house of Assembly to screen and clear his list of Commissioners shortly before the inauguration of the 3rd Assembly popularly called 13/13 Assembly in June 2007. Surprisingly our legal luminaries did not say anything about this infraction of our constitution.
“We can go on and on to list the infractions on our constitution under PDP regimes and our SANs have looked away. Now that the House of Assembly impeached their Speaker with 17 members in a house of 25, they are raising hell simply because the impeached Speaker and some if the suspended members have close relationship with some of the SANs. This is pure case of hypocrisy!”
Director, Public Affairs
Ekiti Development Agenda
November 27, 2022.