Fayose: Appeal Court dismisses EFCC ‘s application to block Ekiti governor’s account
* EFCC can’t block Fayose’s account, Appeal Court rules
The Appeal Court sitting in Ado Ekiti, on Tuesday dismissed an interlocutory application brought before it by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), seeking to restrain the Zenith Bank PLC from allowing Governor Ayodele Fayose access to his accounts domiciled in the bank.
The account was last year June frozen over allegation that it contained a sum of N2.999 billion out of the 3.2 billion dollars suspected to have been distributed through the office of the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki.
The EFCC is also requesting a stay of execution of the judgement of the lower court.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti , had last year December 13 unfreezed Fayose’s domiciliary accounts in Zenith Bank, Ado Ekiti branch , leading to the withdrawal of a sum of N5 million from the same accounts by the governor shortly after the judgement.
Consequent upon this, the EFCC had filed an appeal against the judgement and prayed the court to freeze the account on the premise that the money was a proceed of crime. pending the dispensation of justice on the matter to prove Fayose’s innocence.
Delivering his judgement, the appeal court panel comprising Justices Ahmed Belgore, Fatima Akinbami and Paul Elechi, in a unanimous verdict dismissed the application.
The judgement read by Justice Akinbami said: “No valid appeal has been made against the judgement of the lower court which unfreeze the account. Against the jusgement the EFCC was appealing against was not attached to this application.
“EFCC also failed to show sufficient evidence that the money in the account was a proceed of crime as claimed . In doing this, we expect the EFCC to have showed evidence that the plaintiff has been tried for criminal offence before for it to assume that he can receive proceed of crime.
“We also found that there was suppression of facts to get the account frozen in the first instance. It was also noted that Governor Fayose in line with Section 308 enjoys immunity and his personal account can’t be frozen.
“Having not done all these as demanded by law and equity, as those facts were facts that would assist in exercising the court’s discretion either for or against as it is an application that is predicated on discretion of the court. The application is hereby thrown out,”.
Reacting to the judgement, Fayose’s Lawyer , Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), described it as landmark and conveyed a
clear message that the EFCC was gradually becoming a lawless organization.
Ozekhome said the anti-graft agency will continue to lose cases it filed against suspects in courts until it divorces itself of selective justice and taking biased position in the politics of the country.