Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

Mr. Rafiu Balogun, lawyer to the former Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, will not appear before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry investigating the management of the state finances during his administration.

Contrary to Fayemi’s claim that he had filed a suit challenging the composition of the panel and that would preclude him from making any representation, either personally or by proxy, Balogun said the Commissioner for Finance under the former governor , Mr. Dapo Kolawole, would make appearance at the panel to give evidence.

Balogun, who appeared before the Justice Silas Oyewole-led panel yesterday, said he was entering a “conditional appearance” or “appearance in protest” for his client.

He explained that Fayemi, who is now Minister of Mines and Steel Development, received summons of the panel but would not appear in view of circumstances that predated the constitution of the panel.

Balogun applied to make an oral application but was advised by the Commission Chairman, Justice Silas Oyewole, to make a formal application in line with the rules of the panel.
The panel, however, ordered Balogun to file an application excusing the former governor from appearing on Monday, September 11.
The panel also ordered Kolawole, to appear before it on
September 11.

This was after Balogun had prayed for an adjournment for Kolawole, who was summoned to give evidence yesterday.
Counsel to the panel, Mr. Sunday Bamise, had earlier claimed that a lawyer, Mr. Ibrahim Olanrewaju, received the summons on behalf of Kolawole, a claim which was vehemently refuted by another counsel, Mr. Adeoye Aribasoye.

Aribasoye argued that he Olanrewaju and Mr. Tajudeen Akingbolu announced appearances as “observers’ at the last sitting of the panel and never appeared for Fayemi and Kolawole and never received processes on their behalf.

Justice Oyewole said record before the panel showed that Olanrewaju signed to receive the summons on Kolawole’s behalf which may not be to the knowledge of Aribasoye.

He said the panel was on a “fact-finding mission and not raised to crucify anybody.”
The counsel explained that the ex-commissioner was not properly served.
Other parties which appeared at Wednesday’s sitting were CASA Nigeria, Securities and Exchange Commission, Jichengi Yuyan Limited officials of Ministry of Works and Transportation.

Original Article

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