Nigeria’s senior lawyer, Femi Falana, has stated that the 10-year-ban issued by Governor Ayodele Fayose against his predecessor and current solid minerals development minister, Kayode Fayemi, cannot stand the legal of time.
Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said in a statement 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,” the statement read.
Ekitidefender earlier reported how the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti state told Governor Ayodele Fayose that he lacks the power to bar his immediate predecessor, Fayemi, from office as he recently did by slamming a 10-year-ban on his political life.
According to the APC, only the court can place such a ban on the minister just as it added that the white paper which indicted Fayemi is a demonstration of executive recklessness by Governor Ayo Fayose.
In a statement through the spokesperson of the APC in the state, Taiwo Olatunbosun, the party said the verdict would not stand because of what it called the illegality that went into the exercise.