By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti
The Appeal court sitting in Ado-Ekiti,the Ekiti State capital, on Thursday ordered a continued investigation of governor Ayo Fayose’s accounts by upholding the appeal filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),against the earlier judgement of the Federal High,Ado-Ekiti,which ordered that the accounts be de-frozen by the new generation bank.
It would be recalled that Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High court, Ado-Ekiti,ordered the new generation bank to de-freeze Fayose’s accounts on the grounds that the EFCC had suppressed facts while supplying the governor’s accounts number for freezing by failing to provide his names and particulars along side the account numbers before Justice M.B Idris of the federal high court in Lagos.
Justice Idris had given an exparte order on June 24, 2017, placing a ban on Fayose’s accounts with the bank. Upon that order, the EFCC froze the accounts of governor Fayose without having his particulars and names on record.
The first Respondent,Fayose, had gone to the bank to get his money at the its branch in Ado Ekiti but was told he could not do so by the bank manager who showed him a letter showing that his account has been frozen.
Realizing that it’s a court order that can legally place a ban on his account, governor Fayose went to the Federal high in Ado Ekiti to sue the EFCC and the bank, challenging the legality of freezing his accounts without his knowledge.
However,the EFCC capitalized on the section 34 of their Act, that they could freeze his account with an exparte order.
Meanwhile,counsel to Fayose,Chief Mike Ozekhome argued before the court that that EFCC Act in question, actually states that the name and particulars of the accounts owner must be supplied with the number before it would be frozen. Based on Ozekhme’s argument, Justice Taiwo ordered that the governor’s accounts be de-frozen agreeing that there was a suppression of facts by the EFCC.
Being aggrieved,the EFCC went to the court of Appeal and filed a motion for stale of execution of the ruling and proceeded to the main appeal.
During the trial of the case which began since Monday,April 16, the exparte order from Justice Idris in Lagos, which was not produced before the Federal high court in Ado Ekiti before its ruling in favour of Fayose, was brought before the court of Appeal by the EFCC, to further argue its case.
The Appeal court judgement in Ado-Ekiti delivered yesterday by a three man panel led by Justice J.S Ikyegh, cited Fayehinmi against the Social Democratic Party, (SDP,) which says in Section 308 of the constitution that the sitting governor can be investigated, only that he cannot be prosecuted or invited for interrogated.
The Appeal court also held that the fact that EFCC does not include those particulars of the governor and his names along side his account numbers is not a suppression of fact.
Counsel to Fayose,Ozekhome has hinted that the matter would be appealed at the Supreme court.