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Court orders Fayemi to pay Adeyeye, ex-Ekiti SUBEB boss entitlements

By Lere Olayinka
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Thirteen days after an Appeal Court, sitting in Ado-Ekiti declared that the Ekiti state Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi lacked the constitutional powers to sack local government chairmen and councillors elected into office in 2008 and ordered the payment of salaries and entitlements of the sacked council chairmen and councillors, a High Court in Ado-Ekiti, the State capital has ruled that the governor must pay all salaries and entitlements of former Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Prince Dayo Adeyeye.

Justice Oluwatoyin Bodunde, in a judgment delivered today ordered that Adeyeye's full salary and entitlements for his unexpired tenure be paid. The judge had earlier dismissed the preliminary objection raised by Counsel to the State Government and former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Dayo Akinlaja (SAN) that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.

The former SUBEB boss, who is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and other members of the board were removed by the governor in 2010, shortly after he assumed office.

Adeyeye, who is also a PDP governorship aspirant was appointed the Ekiti SUBEB boss by former Governor Segun Oni on February 12, 2008, for a four-year term.

He had filed a suit number HAD/133/2010, challenging his removal, claiming that his appointment was statutory with four years tenure and cannot be terminated.

Justice Bodunde, who held that the governor could terminate the appointment of political appointees, however ruled that; "since the government had by itself acknowledged the existence of a debt arising from that employment and the subsequent termination of same by the governor, their entitlements, which is acknowledged by documents issued by the Office of Auditor General of the State must be paid."

Reacting to the judgment, Director General of Prince Adedayo Adeyeye Movement (PAAM, Hon Bisi Kolawole said Governor Fayemi was gradually killing Ekiti State with avoidable judgment debts.

Kolawole said; "We are worried because at the rate the government of Ekiti State is going, the government might need to go aborrowing to settle all judgement debts against it since its inception.

"This is because as at today, what the State is owing as judgment debts arising from Fayemi's illegal sack of statutory bodies and duly elected local council officials cannot be less than N3 billion."

The State government has however indicated its willingness to appeal the judgment while Prince Adeyeye has also directed his counsel, Mr. Lekan Olatawura to cross appeal against certain aspect of the judgment.