Students of tertiary institutions in Ekiti State, today protested against what they described as an attempt by former governor of the State and current Minister of Minerals and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi to use the judiciary to shield himself from answering questions on allegations of
corruption levelled against him and demanded that the ex-governor must present himself for questioning by the Judicial Commission of Inquiry recently constituted by the state government.
It would be recalled that Governor Ayodele Fayose, at the instance of the Ekiti State House of Assembly recently inaugurated a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate Dr Fayemi on allegations of fraud and diversion of public funds.
Fayemi has, however, went to court to stop the commission from carrying out its duty against him.
Incidentally, the state law that empowers Governor Fayose to set up the said commission was signed into law by ex-governor Fayemi in 2012.
The angry students who represented all indigenes of Ekiti from such students’ associations as the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Federation of Ekiti State Students’ Unions, home and diaspora (FESSU) and other students’ unions from tertiary institutions across the country among others, marched from the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Ado-Ekiti, state capital to Ojumose to address the press and from there to other parts of the city.
They sang hate songs against Fayemi and carried placards with agitating inscriptions such as “Ekiti students support Fayemi’s probe,” Fayemi, where are the N1 billion flowers”,” We say no to corruption” and “Fayemi don’t hide, come to Ekiti to exonerate yourself!” among others.
Speaking on behalf of the students, Idowu Peter, President, FESSU, said: “we are protesting endemic corruption of political office holders in Nigeria and we are demanding that the fight against corruption by the Federal Government should be across board and not sectional or restricted
to only the opposition party.
“We are also calling on immediate past governor Kayode Fayemi to come to face the judicial commission of enquiry set up to probe his activities in government. He must come to defend himself against the allegation of misappropriation of the N850 State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) funds levelled against him and others. He shouldn’t hide under a court injunction to stop the panel if indeed his hands are clean.”
Also speaking, Owolabi Temitayo Alexander, chairman NANS Joint Campus Committee (JCC), Ekiti axis, said: “If former governor Fayemi knows he has no skeleton in his cupboard, we demand that he appear before the state judicial commission of enquiry set up to make him answer to allegations of graft. He should not hide under a shield by the judiciary. After all, he himself signed this law of judicial commission of enquiry into the constitution of the state, so he should have the moral courage to face the. Commission and not run away from it.
“Can you imagine a situation whereby someone who signed the law establishing a commission of inquiry in 2012 to probe his predecessor, Engr Segun Oni begin to run from the same law in 2017?”
Aridiogo David Olaitan, President of the Students’ Union Government, SUG, Ekiti State University, and Ogundipe Adewale, SUG, President College of Education, Ikere Ekiti, also corroborated their colleagues’ views, saying: “The federal government must impress it on Fayemi to present himself for probe before the Ekiti State Judicial commission of enquiry if indeed it is sincere with its anti-graft fight in the country. There shouldn’t be a sacred cow in this fight. That Fayemi is an appointee of the President doesn’t not shield him from being probed, ” they said.
The College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti Students’ Union President, Ogundipe Adewale in his address said he was in support of the commission of inquiry set up by the state government adding that Dr. Fayemi has no reason to run away from his people if he’s not guilty.
“Under normal circumstances, if you make a law, the moment it is made, the law becomes older than you. The law has no senior brother, everyone is equal before the law. Dr. Fayemi should be answerable for his deeds while in office, he should desist from this hide and seek game if indeed he has nothing to hide. He should come back and jawjaw with the people he ruled for four years”, Ogundipe said.
The protest which kicked off at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium saw the students sing protest songs round Ojumose, Okeyinmi, Old Garage before dispersing by Ijigbo junction in Ado-Ekiti.