Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose yesterday raised the alarm that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is planning to remove him from office him before the expiration of his tenure in October, next year.
The governor complained to the Acting Chief Justice, Justice Walter Onnoghen, that the ruling party was planning to compromise a section of the Judiciary and muzzle democracy to oust him from office.
Fayose said the essence of the plot was to silence him as the voice of the opposition, following his “refusal” to defect to the APC.
Vowing to intensify his criticism of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, he said: “I refused to be silenced. I will never be silenced.”
The governor told reporters in Lagos that APC chieftains were making subterranean moves to manipulate and compromise some judges to remove him through the back door.
He said this followed their failure to displace him through the ballot box, the election petitions tribunal, the Appeal and Supreme courts.
Fayose listed the arrowheads of the alleged plot as Oni and the Minister of Steel and Solid Minerals Kayode Fayemi.
He added: “The duo had boasted that ‘there is no going back on the latest plans to subvert the will of the people of Ekiti freely given, wrest the governance of Ekiti from me at all costs before the expiration of my tenure in October 2018 through orchestrated but dubious legal process. They will thereby render nugatory the sacred mandate given to me when I won in all the 16 local governments while the then incumbent Governor Kayode Fayemi recorded zero.”
The governor accused Oni and Fayemi, who he called governorship aspirants, of having the blessing of the Presidency.
Fayose said: “A concocted fresh suit is being rehashed. It is to be filed against me any moment from now on the same old allegation that have been trashed all the way from the tribunal to the Supreme Court. But, this time, the plotters plan to procure the service of a compromised or malleable judge to get self-serving Jankara and kangaroo judgment with the intention of having the Supreme Court reverse itself on the June 2014 Ekiti election.”
The governor said Oni and Fayemi also boasted that they had assurances from some judges on the proposed suit, which would be hinged on the report of “a useless, senseless and orchestrated military report not known to the electoral law”.
Describing himself as a leader at the receiving end of judicial irresponsibility in the past, the governor urged the Acting Chief Justice to “take note of judicial pronouncements by courts of concurrent jurisdiction and scathing remarks of appellate courts on how a judge had been used in the past by anti-democratic forces to endanger democracy and engage in deleterious miscarriage of justice”.
He said the Judiciary should not succumb to devious plots to undermine its independence and integrity while undermining its good name and hard-earned reputation.
Fayose urged Justice Onnoghen to ensure that judges are not enlisted into the “diabolical act” allegedly designed to harass and intimidate him as an opposition leader.
He vowed to remain an opposition voice, adding that a democracy without a virile opposition is a prelude to dictatorship.
Fayose said: “I express the confidence that Justice Onnoghen and the Judiciary would not only refuse to fall for APC’s cheap and pedestrian blackmail, but would also resolutely and confidently defend the hallowed grounds of the Judiciary and secure them from the desecration by the anti-democratic forces.
“I also have an unflinching faith in the Omnipotence of God, who rules in the affairs of men. The battle, like the others before it, is not mine but God’s. He will fight for me, like he has always done and He will give me victory.”
Dr Fayemi’s Special Assistant on Media Mr Yinka Oyebode said he would rather not dignify Fayose’s ranting with a response.
Oyebode said: “It would appear that Governor Fayose wakes up daily in search of new controversies and make one spurious allegation after another. It does not really matter to him whether such allegations are reasonable, logical or sensible.
“This allegation is not only irresponsible, it is quite unfair to the two former governors of the state.
“One is not surprised at this because under Fayose falsehood has been elevated to the level of statecraft, sustained by machinery of state.
“My advice to him is: Let the governor go and honour the promises he made to the Ekiti electorate. Let him pay workers their salaries, take governance more seriously and make the state safe for lives, property and investments. If he can do these, then he needs not fear no one.
“However, this is certainly a poorly contrived alibi for his ineptitude and apparent low capacity for the serious business of governance.
“It is purely a cheap blackmail that will not fly.”