Wednesday, 14 December 2016
Court orders EFCC to defreeze Fayose’s bank accounts
By Sunday Aloba, Ado-Ekiti
A Federal High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital has ordered the Economic Financial and other Crimes Commission (EFCC) to defreeze some bank accounts belonging to Governor Ayodele Fayose with immediate effect.
The accounts were frozen by the EFCC in June, this year but the presiding judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo described the action as illegal, wrongful, unlawful and unconstitutional.
According to the judge, the action also breached the governor’s fundamental rights to fair hearing, as the commission did not make him a party to the proceedings for the interim freezing of the account.
He said EFCC suppressed facts by not disclosing to the court that granted the interim freezing order that the two accounts that were frozen belonged to Governor who enjoys total constitutional immunity.
Justice Taiwo also said that the EFCC did not provide any credible evidence empowering it to carry out the freezing of the accounts using Zenith Bank as a proxy, whereas, Zenith Bank is a mere custodian and not the owner of the accounts, which evidence has shown belong to the Governor.
The judge ruled that being a person covered fully by Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution, no legal proceedings can be instituted against Governor Fayose.
He also said that any law including some sections of the EFCC Act such as Sections 28, 31, and 44 that expropriate citizens rights must be construed strictly and usually in favour of citizens whose properties have been confiscated.