Court Directs EFCC To Restore Fayose’s Accounts

 

Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose
Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose

Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Ekiti State has ruled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, did not follow due process in placing a no debit order on two bank accounts belonging to the governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose.

The judge subsequently ordered the anti-graft commission to defreeze the governor’s accounts with immediate effect.

Delivering judgment in the suit filed by Fayose, through his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, Justice Taiwo held that the governor’s rights had been unconstitutionally infringed upon.

He explained that apart from the immunity conferred on Fayose as a sitting governor under section 308 of the 1999 constitution as amended, the EFCC was wrong to have gone ahead to freeze his two accounts indefinitely without first investigating him or making him a party.

Justice Taiwo said the applicant was “a genuinely deprived person who rushed to the court to seek constitutional protection”, adding that it was the duty of any presiding judge to protect the constitution and its interpretations whenever the need arises.






     

     

    “The Plaintiff is entitled to be heard before his property or money can be seized, doing otherwise will amount to denying him fair hearing and constitutional rights,” the judge held.

    He however refused to grant other reliefs sought by the governor, including a perpetual injunction restraining EFCC or its agents from further tampering with his property, and another one asking for payment of N5billion as exemplary damages.

    “This court will not shield any person from due investigation. Since Police cannot be stopped from investigating a crime, same goes for the First Respondent so as not to whittle down its functions”, the judge said.

    Recall that in June this year, two of governor Fayose’s accounts with Zenith Bank Plc were frozen by the EFCC on the allegation that they contained proceeds of crime.

    Join the ICIR WhatsApp channel for in-depth reports on the economy, politics and governance, and investigative reports.

    Support the ICIR

    We invite you to support us to continue the work we do.

    Your support will strengthen journalism in Nigeria and help sustain our democracy.

    If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation

    LEAVE A REPLY

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here


    Support the ICIR

    We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.

    - Advertisement

    Recent

    - Advertisement