Ex-Commissioner Sues Fayose, Others, Seeks N20b Damages Over Libel
Former Commissioner for Finance in the administration of former Governor Kayode Fayemi, Dapo Kolawole, has sued Governor Ayodele Fayose and others demanding damages over alleged slander and libel against him by the defendants.
He is also seeking an order of the court stopping disbursement of loan and reinbursement funds to Ekiti State Government from the Federal Government and its agencies pending the determination of the matter.
The defendants in the writ of summons filed in suit number FHC/ABK/CS/6/2018 on January 18, 2018 by Isaac Obrutu Esq on behalf of Kolawole and set for hearing on Friday February 23, 2018, before the Federal High Court siting in Abeokuta, Ogun State, are Mr. Dipo Abolude, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Attorney General of the Federation, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works; Accountant General of the Federation, Director General, Debts Management Office; and Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria.
Kolawole said the first defendant, Abolude, made libelous and slanderous statements against him in Ogun State during comments on Ekiti State financial matters under investigation by the disputed probe panel investigating the administration of Fayemi in Ekiti State between 2010 and 2014.
Other defendants are Director, Home Finance Department, Federal Ministry of Finance; Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission; Executive Governor of Ekiti State, Secretary to the Government of Ekiti State, Ekiti State Commissioner for Finance, the Accountant General of Ekiti State and Attorney General of Ekiti State.
Others include the Permanent Secretary, Ekiti State Ministry of Finance; a member of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Dr. Samuel Omotoso, Fayose’s media aide, Lere Olayinka.
Among other reliefs, the plaintiff is seeking declarations that the sum of all funds received by the 10th – 15th defendants for and on behalf of Ekiti State Government from the Federation Account contained in the financial statements of 2013 were properly and duly accrued for and due to Ekiti State Government as at the tenure of Dr. Kayode Fayemi in which the Plaintiff was the Commissioner for Finance;
A declaration that the sum of N17,724538,594:94 represented by the sum of N10,839,493,135:63 being reimbursement due on construction of Ado-Iworoko-Ifaki road construction and N4,012,384,082:60 being refund on Paris Club ($25,886,851,080:83) and amount due on ecological projects of N2,858,851,080:83 were all monies due to the Ekiti State Government as at 30th June, 2014 and during the tenor of Governor Kayode Fayemi as expressly stated in the audited account of the State by the Ekiti State Auditor-General;
A declaration that the total indebtedness of Ekiti State Government to banks and financial institutions as contained in the financial statement published by the Auditor General of Ekiti State was N27,418,166,077:17 as at 15th October, 2014;
A declaration that there was no loan obtained by the Government of Dr. Kayode Fayemi in which the plaintiff was the Commissioner for Finance between 16th October, 2010 and 15th October, 2014 whose tenor was beyond seven years, including the N25bn bond;
An order of the Honourable court, directing and mandating the 6th defendant to ascertain the debt profile of Ekiti State, between October 16, 2010 and October 15, 2014 being the tenure of Dr. Kayode Fayemi and between 16th October, 2014 – 15th October, 2018 being the tenure of Mr. Ayodele Fayose;
An order of this Honourable Court restraining the 2nd to 9th defendants, their servants, agents and/or privies, from releasing, giving or in whatsoever manner make available to the government of Ekiti State, through the 10th – 15th defendants, their servants, agents and/or privies and under the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Peter Ayodele Fayose, the following funds:
The sum of N10,839,493,135.63 being reimbursement due from the Federal Government to Ekiti State on the construction of Ado-Iworoko-Ifaki Road;
The sum of N4,012,384,082.60 being refund of Paris Club (125,886,851,080.83);
The sum of N2,858,851,080.83 being an amount due on Ecological Projects, pending the 6th defendant’s ascertainment, publication, making available to the plaintiff, the debt profile of Ekiti State, between 16th October, 2010 – 15th October, 2014, being Dr. Kayode Fayemi’s regime and between 16 October, 2014 – 15th October, 2018, being Mr. Ayodele Fayose’s regime and until the payment of all arrears of salaries, pensions and entitlements of all serving and retired civil servants and public servants, particularly that of the plaintiff, until the plaintiff is totally paid.
Others are an order of the Honourable Court, restraining the 2nd to 9th defendants whether by themselves, servants, agents or privies from guarantying standing as surety, confidant, issuing bonds to or in whatsoever manner standing in any position to guaranty or stand-in or on behalf of the 10th defendant or any of its officials or Ekiti State thereby enabling her to get a loan or bond wherein the 2nd – 9th defendants will assure the lender to the 10th – 15th Defendants or Ekiti State that such borrowing shall be paid or offset from the expected re-imbursement from the Federal Government of Nigeria, from the funds owed, Ekiti State government during the period 16th October, 2010 to 15th October 2014; and
And an order to pay the sum of ten billion naira in damages against the 10th – 15th defendants being officials, servants and agents of Ekiti State government for the slander committed against the plaintiff, when they made slanderous and disparaging words against the plaintiff on television, radio and public fora, to the effect that the Plaintiff and Dr. Kayode Fayemi plunged Ekiti State into debt to the tune of N85b and the indebtedness will not be liquidated until 2036.
Other damages include the sum of ten billion naira (N10b) being general damages for the libel committed against the plaintiff by the 10th – 15th defendants, when they defamed the plaintiff by publishing libellous words concerning the Plaintiff and special damages against the 10th – 17th defendants, being unpaid and outstanding salary of the plaintiff and EXCO allowances.
The summons commanded the respondents that “within thirty days after the service of this writ on you, inclusive of the day of such service, you do cause an appearance to be entered for you in an action at the suit of Mr. Vincent Oladapo Kolawole and take notice that in default of your so doing the Plaintiff may proceed therein, and judgment may be given in your absence”.
The case is set for hearing on February 23, 2018.